Today was an historic day for German Football: the German National Women’s Football team has won gold for the first time in its history. Even though Borussia Dortmund doesn’t have a women’s team (and it really should), this is still great news for any fans of German Fussball in general.
After knocking out Canada in the semifinals, Silvia Neid’s team faced a determined and well coached Swedish squad, led by ex-U.S. Manager Pia Sundhage. After surviving some heavy pressure from the Swedes in the first couple minutes, the Germans began to control the tempo of the match. The Swedes managed some counterattacks, so there were plenty of chances from both sides. Were it not for poor finishing, the half easily could have ended 2-1 or 3-2. Instead, the half ended without a goal.
After 45 minutes of deadlock, it only took two minutes into the second half for the Germans to strike first. A low cross from Bayern Münich midfielder Melanie Behringer squibbed through the box and fell to an unmarked Dzenifer Marozsán. The Hungarian-born 24 year old struck a wonderful curling shot that floated into the top corner and gave Germany the lead.
Despite increased pressure from the Swedes, the Germans managed to strike again. After a Swedish foul just outside the box, Marozsán struck a free kick that curled over the wall and bounced off the left upright. The ball rebounded into the box. Swedish center back Linda Sembrant attempted to clear the ball, but inadvertently knocked it into her own net.
The Swedes refused to back down, and even struck back when Stina Blackstenius finished a beautiful team goal off a break. Despite several last-ditch efforts from the Swedes, Germany held on to win Gold, redeeming a disappointing performance at the 2015 World Cup.
Tomorrow, Sven Bender, Matthias Ginter, and the German Men’s team will take the pitch against Neymar and Brazil to go for a “golden double”. Now, though, all the attention is on Silvia Neid’s squad, and deservedly so. They played excellently throughout the tournament, and completely earned the win. Congratulations to all those involved!
I, for one, enjoyed watching the Women’s tournament in Rio, just as I enjoyed watching the Women’s World Cup in Canada last summer. We’ve talked before about Women’s Soccer, and how Borussia Dortmund still does not have a women’s squad. Considering the fact that other, lesser known Bundesliga clubs like Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, and Schalke all have women’s clubs, it’s a little baffling to me that Dortmund still lags behind. I hope that this changes in the future: there’s certainly room at the Westfalenstadion for more football.
Feel free to discuss any observations from the match, or from the Women’s tournament in general, in the comments.