Germany was frustrated for much of its second Group A match of the 2011 Women’s World Cup against Nigeria. The Germans will certainly have to attend to their bruises after surviving a very physical game with a 1-0 win June 30.
Germany appeared to have underestimated a Nigerian team that it defeated 8-0 back in November 2010. Nigeria used its speed to contain the high-powered German offense. The Nigerians also bumped into German players on every tackle possible. The Korean referee did a very poor job in the match and lost control of it by not handing out enough cards.
There might be a bit of a controversy brewing for the German side. With the game sitting at 0-0 in the 52nd minute, German manager Silvia Neid replaced Birgit Prinz, who is the all-time leading scorer in the Women’s World Cup, with Inka Grings. Germany scored a couple of minutes later when it won a set piece. Annike Krahn sent the ball into the box and there was a mess for the Nigerian defense. Simone Laudehr was able to capitalize and score what would become the game-winning goal for the Germans. Prinz was emotionless on the German bench in reaction to the goal. Prinz is playing in her last World Cup. This was the second game in a row that Prinz was substituted before the 60th minute. The situation with Prinz will definitely be something to keep an eye on as the Germans move forward in the tournament.
Nigeria’s problem at the World Cup since it broke through to the quarterfinal round in 1999 is goal scoring. So far in the 2011 World Cup, it hasn’t scored a goal. In the match against Germany, the team registered only one shot on net. Despite playing some of the toughest defense in the World Cup, Nigeria doesn’t have a single point to show for it.
With the win, Germany stays alive for a chance to win the group. France routed Canada 4-0 before the Germany-Nigeria match in the other Group A game June 30. With the loss, Nigeria has been eliminated from the competition but has one group match left to play. Germany will play France on July 5. Nigeria will play Canada on July 5, as well.
As an American soccer fan, each game that I see Germany play and not play up to their potential, I get a little more excited for Team USA’s chances in this World Cup.
More from Patrick Johnston:
France rolls 4-0 against Canada in 2011 World Cup
Norway needs late goal to beat Equatorial Guinea in World Cup
U.S., Sweden lead Group C after first matches at World Cup
Raf Casert, “Germany beats Nigeria 1-0 in Women’s World Cup”, Sports.yahoo.com