My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
The European Champions Germany put on an attacking masterclass as they thrashed Côte D’Ivoire. The African side, who had qualified after finishing 3rd in the 2014 African Women’s Championship, would have wanted to not concede within the opening ten minutes – but it took only 3 minutes for Célia Šašic to score from close-range. Germany scored four more goals in the first half, as Šašic completing her hat-trick and Anja Mittag getting a brace.
The Germans didn’t start the second half with the same energy shown in the first, but in the 64th minute Mittag completed her hat-trick. Simone Laudehr, who been a driving force behind their creativity, got onto the scoresheet before Sara Däbritz made it 8-0. Melanie Behringer made it 9-0 before Alexandra Popp scored from a free-kick.
The 10-0 victory is the second biggest win in Women’s World Cup history, just one goal less than the record – set by Germany in the 2007 World Cup against Argentina.
Despite the scoreline, Côte D’Ivoire did cause the German defence problems with their pace that if they had made the right decisions, could have made the game closer.
The Germans started strongly, they scored with their first attack. A lovely overlapping run down the right allowed the full-back, Leonie Maier, to pass the ball back across the box to Célia Šašic, who scored the tap-in.
The next minute, Maier had her shot well saved by Dominique Thiamale. The ball was worked to Šašic whose cross picked out Alexandra Popp who headed wide.
The Germans kept on coming. Tabea Kemme’s through-ball sent Popp behind the back-four, but her shot is superbly saved by Thiamale. A failed offside trap gave Simone Laudehr so much time and space, and she picked out Lena Goessling whose shot hit a defender. Then Šašic blasted over from close-range, and then had a long-distance shot well saved.
Finally, Germany got their second. Thiamale came and missed Goessling’s deep cross to the far post, leaving Šašic with an empty net to head into. Minutes later, Šašic nearly had a hat-trick, only to be denied by Sophie Aguie’s last-ditch tackle in the penalty box.
Côte D’Ivoire launched a counter-attack, and Rebecca Elloh broke into the box, only to check inside to allow Saskia Bartusiak to tackle her. Rebecca Elloh got down the right minutes later and tried to pick out Binta Diakité, but the pass was behind her and the chance was gone.
And then Germany made it 3-0, and it was a lovely move. Maier started it off, picking out Goessling whose defence-splitting pass picked out Anja Mittag who then placed the ball into the bottom left corner.
Two minutes later, it was 4-0. Goessling’s played a long ball over the defence to Mittag, who unselfishly headed the ball down to Šašic who completed her hat-trick. They should have got their fifth when Laudehr’s cross picked out Popp, but she directed her header straight at Thiamale.
But then, it was 5-0. Laudehr broke down the right and cut the ball back to Mittag who blasted the ball into the top corner.
Brave keeping stopped it becoming six minutes after. Laudehr’s cross is clawed away from Mittag by Thiamale, who then reacted quickly to close down Šašic’s shot, injuring her shoulder in the process. Thiamale could have been sent off in the 40th minute when she took out Šašic just outside the box, but the referee only gave a yellow. Melanie Behringer curled the free-kick wide of the left post.
Côte D’Ivoire had a penalty appeal early in the second half when Rebecca Elloh went down under a challenge from Annike Krahn, but the referee saw nothing wrong with it. They then had a goal disallowed, when a high ball into the box was dropped by Nadie Angerer under the challenge of Binta Diakité who then put the ball over the line – but the referee correctly ruled that the German keeper had been fouled.
That foul seemed to shake the senses back into Germany, and they really should have scored their sixth when Laudehr pulled the ball back to Mittag who somehow missed the target. The Goessling’s 35-yard free-kick fell to Popp whose close range produced a brilliant save from Thiamale.
And then it was 6-0, and it came from a Côte D’Ivoire attack. Krahn launched a long ball into the Ivorian half, where Sophie Aguie misjudged the bounce and headed straight to Mittag, who broke into the box before she fired the ball into the bottom corner to secure her hat-trick.
In the 71st minute, it was 7-0. Popp’s ball sent Laudehr down the left and into the box, where she turned her defender, before she curled the ball past Thiamale.
Five minutes later, they made it 8-0. Lena Petermann broke into the box and reached the byline where she cut the ball across the box to Sara Däbritz who calmly scored her first goal for the German senior team.
Then it was 9-0. Lena Goessling’s corner fell to Melanie Behringer, who blasted the ball straight at the keeper who couldn’t keep it out.
However, Côte D’Ivoire should have scored in the 81st minute. Rita Akaffou’s cross goes through the hands of Angerer to Ange N’Guessan who headed the ball into the ground and watched as it bounced over the bar.
And in the 86th minute, Germany got the scoreline into double figures, when Fatou Coulibaly fouled Mittag just outside the box. Alexandra Popp curled the ball around the wall and into the bottom left corner, despite Thiamale getting a fingertip to it.
Germany could have won a penalty in second half stoppage time went Popp seemed to have been fouled by Akaffou, but the referee saw nothing wrong with it.
Both side’s have crunch group games on Thursday. Germany plays Norway in a game which should decide the group winner, whilst Côte D’Ivoire plays Thailand in a match they need to win to have any hope of qualifying. Remember, the best four third-placed teams qualify for the last-16.
Woman of the Match
I am not going to go for any of the goal-scorers, but for Lena Groessling who, if she wasn’t assisting a goal, always seemed to start every German attack. A superlative midfield performance.
Germany: Nadine Angerer, Leonie Maier, Annike Krahn, Saskia Bartusiak, Tabea Kemme, Lena Goessling, Melanie Leupolz (Melanie Behringer 17), Simone Laudehr (Lena Petermann 73), Alexandra Popp, Célia Šašic (Sara Däbritz 46), Anja Mittag.
Goals: Šašic (3, 14, 31); Mittag (29, 35, 64); Laudehr 71; Däbritz 75; Behringer 79; Popp 85.
Côte D’Ivoire: Dominique Thiamale, Raymonde Kacou, Sophie Aguie, Fatou Coulibaly, Nina Kpaho (Fernande Tchetche 38), Rita Akaffou, ida Guehai, Josée Nahi, Nadege Essoh (Ines Nrehy 51), Rebecca Elloh (Ange N’Guessan 72), Binta Diakité.
Booked: Rita Akaffou, Dominique Thiamale, Sophie Aguie, Rebecca Elloh, Fatou Couliably, Josée Nahi.