Germany took a relaxing walk into the last 16 of the 2019 Women’s World Cup with a phenomenal 4-0 victory against South Africa as they finished the group stage of the tournament without conceding a single goal.
Germany is currently undefeated in the last 15 matches. Even though they took a stroll past South Africa in Montpellier, the Germany team was wasteful on several occasions. The overall score should have been more one-sided, but they failed to find a cutting edge once they were in front of the penalty area. Germany managed to find glory thanks to their aerial superiority against South Africa, but you got the impression that the team hasn’t reached top gear as of yet.
For Banyana Banyana, their first women’s World Cup came to an end without accumulating a single point and left the tournament with exceptional support and a never-say-die attitude. With that in mind, let’s see what happened in Montpellier.
The Dominance of Germany
Germany could have quickly finished the game with eight goals. After the first half, it was 3-0 to Germany, but the team missed out on three additional golden opportunities within the first 45 minutes of the game. Two of the three goals scored by Germany were mostly gifted to them. Poor marking during the first corner allowed Melanie Leupolz to obtain a free header. The second goal was due to a weak cross that Andile Dlamini, the goalkeeper for South Africa, couldn’t property stop, which allowed Sara Dabritz to tap it in.
Germany’s 3rd and 4th goals, which occurred during the 40th and 58th minute respectively, were far better constructed, utilizing their aerial superiority against South Africa once again. The 3rd goal occurred when Alexandra Popp provided a beautiful header from the cross provided by Guilia Gwinn, while the 4th was tapped in by Lina Magull after the South African goalkeeper pushed the header from Marina Hegering onto the post.
There were several opportunities where Germany should have scored more goals. Popp kicked the ball over the goalpost at close range, Magull had a shot over the net during a one-on-one battle, and Svenja Huth couldn’t connect solidly during yet another cross. This all occurred during the first half by the way. During the second half, the South African goalkeeper made two incredible saves against Lee Schueller and Dabritz. There were also two additional opportunities that didn’t count due to both being offside.
South Africa’s Departure
South Africa will head back home without a single point in the tournament but will do so with their heads held high while leaving an incredible mark on the soccer competition. After they made their grand musical entrance, they played with loads of energy and heart throughout the tournament which totalled three great matches. They were the underdogs against Germany, but their supporters stayed behind them until the last second. Let’s hope they can do better the next time around.