My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Group B
The clash of the former World Champions ended in a 1-1 draw, as both sides dominated for 45 minutes. The first half was Germany’s, with Norway giving them far too much space to pick out their passes. They took the lead when Dzsenifer Marozsan had a shot parried by the keeper, and Anja Mittag reacted quickest to dink the ball over the keeper.
Norway came out in the second half a vastly improved team, and from a free-kick where Germany were lucky to remain with 11 players, Maren Mjelde scored with a wonderful free-kick.
The result leaves both sides on 4 points which should see them both through, leaving them to fight to win the group.
Both sides had comprehensively won their opening ties, and they both made changes. Germany saw Dzsenifer Marozsan replace Melanie Leupolz. Norway made three, including changing their centre-back pairing with Maria Thorisdottir, Marita Skammelsrud Lund and Ingrid Schjelderup replacing Trinne Ronning, Solveig Gulbrandsen and Nora Holstad Berge.
Germany started quickly, with Marozsan shooting wide before Celia Saci played Leonie Maier into the box, but her curled shot was well saved by Ingrid Hjelmseth.
They took the lead in the 6th minute. Marozsan shot from outside the box which Hjelmseth could only parry. Anja Mittag reacted quickly and cleverly dinked the ball over the keeper and into the net.
Marozsan was causing Norway all sorts of problems. Her deep cross picked out Alexandra Popp, but she couldn’t direct her header goalwards. Then Maier’s cross picked out Sasic, whose header was deflected behind. From a free-kick, Lena Goessling’s ball picked out Laudehr at the far post, but her header went wide.
Germany were fractions from doubling their lead when Goessling’s corner picked out the unmarked Popp, but her head sailed centimetres wide of the left post. And then, from a free-kick 25 yards from goal, Popp fired the ball through a gap in the wall, but it is straight at Hjelmseth.
Norway had a good end to the first half. Great pressuring from Isabell Herlovsen forced as a mistake from Maier, but her shot was superbly saved by Nadine Angerer. And then, from the corner, Lene Mykjaland’s delivery had to be touched onto the crossbar by Angerer.
They also started the second half well. Solveig Gulbrandsen, who had come on at half-time, picked out Ingrid Schjelderup but she couldn’t find the target.
Germany were still posing a threat and won a free-kick just outside the box. Marozsan’s delicate chip over the wall left the keeper stranded, but she failed to get it to dip enough.
And then Norway equalised from a free-kick in a similar position, when Mykjaland’s ball found Herlovsen who was brought down by Saskia Bartusiak. The German seemed to be the last defender and so can count herself fortunate that she was only shown the yellow card. Maren Mjelde stepped up and extraordinarily curled the ball over the wall and into the top left corner, with the ball brushing the woodwork.
Germany could have instantly equalised when Maier’s cross picked out Sasic but her header was met by Hjelmseth’s wonder save. Minutes later, Marozsan had a powerful shot well saved.
Both sides had one more chance each. A long ball sent Ada Hegerberg into the box, but her weak shot was easily saved. And then Germany’s Lena Lotzen’s 20-yard shot just crept wide of the right-hand post.
Germany: Nadine Angerer, Leonie Maier, Annike Krahn, Saskia Bartusiak, Tabea Kemme, Lena Goessling, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Simone Laudehr (Lena Lotzen 66), Anja Mittag (Pauline Bremer 80), Alexandra Popp (Sara Baebritz 70), Celia Sasic.
Goal: Anja Mittag 6.
Booked:Saskia Bartusiak 59.
Norway: Ingrid Hjelmseth, Maren Mjelde, Marita Skammelsrud Lund, Maria Thorisdottir, Ingrid Moe Wold, Ingrid Moe Wold, Ingrid Schjelderup, Gry Tofte Ims (Solveig Gulbrandsen HT), Lene Mykjaland, Kristine Minde (Elise Thorsnes 60), Isabell Herlovsen (Emilie Haavi 90+2), Ada Hegerbeg.
Goal: Mjelde 61.