FURTH (dpa) – A mood of crisis instead of optimism – German footballers are flying after a failed dress rehearsal against Zambia with injury concerns ahead of the World Cup in Australia.
National coach Martina Voss-Decklenburg had to tinker before the team was nominated this Saturday (4:00pm). And captain Alexandra Popp, after the final whistle in Furth, doubted what this last Test match would spark: “We know German football fans,” said the Wolfsburg native. “It’s too easy to sound the alarm bells.”
Worst case scenario: Three people were injured in the last raid
“Worst of all,” Voss-Decklenburg said after the 2: 3 (0: 0) defeat against Africa’s new World Cup, three injured: defensive leader Marina Hegering, the most important in the defensive midfield Lena Oberdorf ( VfL Wolfsburg) and FC Bayern Both had to be replaced by full-back Caroline Simon. “Worst case scenario” for the national coach.
Hegering “got a stud on his heel,” Voss-Decklenburg explained, and Simon “broke his knee in the process.” Oberdorff had a bandage on his right thigh, but “I think it’s nothing but barbaric.” A diagnosis was not initially available Saturday. It is clear, however, that the coach will use “backup solutions”: under FIFA regulations, a sick or injured player can still be replaced with appropriate proof 24 hours before the first group game of the DFF women against Morocco on July 24.
Barbara Banda scored twice against DFB-Elf
Voss-Decklenburg would like to take more than 23 players with them to the announced squad, as short-term appointments are difficult due to long travel. On Tuesday, the defending European champions travel to Sydney, from where they continue to camp in Wyong. Germany will also face Colombia (July 30) and South Korea (August 3) in the opening round of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
“With Colombia, the same pace and the same physicality are coming to us,” the national coach warned earlier. Overall, 77th in the FIFA World Rankings from Zambia, her formidable captain and double-scoring Barbara Banda gave the Germans a grim foretaste of what was surely the strongest Women’s World Cup in history.
Voss-Decklenburg: “Total many mistakes”
Two injury time goals from Lee Schuller (90’+1′) and Bob (90’+10′) were not enough for the German women. The hosts, who are one of the tournament favourites, realistically aiming for a third World Cup title after 2003 and 2007, looked vulnerable in defense and ineffective in attack.
“All in all, many mistakes. All in all, a mixed year,” Voss-Decklenburg summed up after an incredible fifth international in 2023, but added: “We are not frustrated, we are self-critical and know what we have to do. We want to take advantage. There is also a chance.
“It was a little less in the last three. There were chances. I’m not panicking now,” said Oberdorf, knowing full well: “It’s not going to be easy. That’s not our intention by any means.” Not only Voss-Tecklenburg, the 11,404 spectators at the Ronhof sports park and an average of 3.173 million people in the ARD broadcast recognized: “This mentality, this physicality, we have to get it”. However, the 55-year-old added: “However, we will not talk about everything.”
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