2In Dresden, 6,835 fans cheered enthusiastically for the second in the European Championships and above all for captain Alexandra Popp. The German women’s soccer team defeated France 2-1 (1-0) in their first home appearance after the tournament in England on Friday evening.
The VfL Wolfsburg striker, who had already scored both goals in the 2-1 semi-final against the French, scored two goals this time (44th and 48th minute). The team of national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg thanked the team for the great atmosphere with a courageous, albeit somewhat bumpy test match at first.
Only in the 85th minute and with a penalty kick by Viviane Asseyi did the guests manage to get back the goal. Before kick-off, the DFB women were honored by DFB President Bernd Neuendorf for their thrilling European Championship and their second place in England in July. Significantly more visitors came to the almost sold-out Rudolf Harbig Stadium than last time to the men’s third division game between Dynamo Dresden and FC Ingolstadt (20,302).
“It was great fun”
“We played a really good game today. It was great fun,” said Popp on ARD and said with a grin: “France suits me.” And the national coach said: “Today it was a game with open visors on both sides. If you look at the whole game and the number of chances, we deserved to win.”
Goalkeeper Merle Frohms was not only happy about the success, but also about the great atmosphere in the spectator stands. “It’s just amazing how people have come along here. We just delivered here, we gave 100 percent like at the European Championships,” said the final woman.
A good two months after the Wembley final lost to England, defense chief Marina Hegering (VfL Wolfsburg), Bayern pros Giulia Gwinn and Lina Magull and Sara Däbritz from Olympique Lyon were all absent. That’s why Lena Lattwein from Wolfsburg and Linda Dallmann from Munich played in attacking midfield – and they convinced.
For right-back Gwinn, who may have suffered a cruciate ligament tear in training this week and is likely to be out for a long time, her team-mates held up their jersey before kick-off and placed it in their circle.
Of course, Popp, who scored six times in the European Championship, stormed ahead. As in the EM duel, the Wolfsburg player met the almost 1.90 meter tall defender Wendie Renard. Both teams tried to tear crucial gaps down the wings. However, the DFB women initially showed too many bad passes in the build-up game to upset Renard and Co.
After a corner by Felicitas Rauch, however, her club colleague Popp was there and headed in to make it 1-0. Substitute Jule Brand made it 2-0 immediately after the break: Popp used a cross pass from Svenja Huth for another Wolfsburg offensive production. France did come up dangerously in front of goalkeeper Merle Frohms a few times, but only put the ball in the opponent’s goal when Lindsey Thomas from Wolfsburg knocked her legs off and awarded a penalty.
The next challenges await the DFB women in the two test matches in November in the USA against the world champions. Voss-Tecklenburg hopes that this will provide important insights for the preparations for the World Cup from July 20 to August 20, 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. In the draw on October 22, the German team will also find out who their opponents are in the preliminary round.