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Twice champions Germany slump out in group stage after South Korea stalemate

04 de Agosto de 2023 a las 14:39

Photo courtesy of  Dan Peled, Reuters


Article courtesy of Michael Church, Reuters


BRISBANE. - Twice former winners Germany was sent crashing out in the opening phase of the Women's World Cup for the first time after being held to a shock 1-1 draw by South Korea in their final Group H match on Thursday.


The Germans, champions in 2003 and 2007 and ranked second in the world, had needed a win to be sure of progressing and Morocco's 1-0 win over Colombia in the other group match in Perth sent both teams through to the last 16.


The Koreans took a surprise early lead when Cho So-hyun netted in the sixth minute, while Alexandra Popp equalised with a trademark header three minutes before the interval.


However, Germany was unable to find the winner needed to advance.


"It's obvious this was not ideal, I think we are all aware of that," said Popp. "You have seen it and it is really difficult for me right now to give you some in-depth analysis.


"During the second half we were informed that we needed urgently to score and after that I think we have shown strong desire, the grit to go for goal but somehow it just didn't want to go there."


Casey Phair, who at 16 is the youngest ever player to feature at a Women's World Cup, almost gave the Koreans the lead but her second minute effort was pushed onto the post by goalkeeper Merle Frohms.


Colin Bell's side only had to wait four more minutes to strike, however, when Lee Young-ju's pass from deep split the German defence and the unmarked Cho calmly slotted her first-time shot into the bottom corner.


Germany was frustrated by the hard-pressing Koreans, but in the 42nd minute the former champions levelled as Popp out-jumped the defence to meet Svenja Huth's right wing cross and loop her header beyond Kim Jung-mi.


Voss-Tecklenburg's side threw everything forward after the interval, with Popp's 57th minute header ruled out on review by VAR as the striker strayed offside following a clever flick by Lea Schuller.


The German forward then rattled the crossbar two minutes later with another headed effort and Popp was again denied 16 minutes from time when her bullet-header flew straight into the hands of Kim.


Substitute Sydney Lohmann thumped a pair of efforts just off target deep into almost 16 minutes of added time, but Bell's side hung on for a point that sent the Germans out.


"That was a magnificent performance - one of the best the girls have produced since I've been in charge," said Bell. "I'm so proud of them and the courage they showed.


"Germany are always dangerous and when Popp equalised I think everyone would have thought we'd crumble in the second half, but we dug even deeper.”