So we take you out to Stade de la Mosson again for the match of Germany vs South Africa. Germany are already safe through to the round of 16 whilst Banyana Banyana are just trying to prove their presence at the World Cup. Having already scored their first World Cup goal against Spain and keeping China to only a single goal against them, they don’t really have anything to prove in my opinion.
The German backline is a solid as a Volkswagon – dependable and doesn’t seem to break down, keeping a clean sheet this tournament so far.
The playing experience of both coaches mirrors the relative success of their teams, with Germany’s having 125 caps in her playing career, verse South Africa’s Desiree Ellis with only 33 – however if determination was a factor then I think Desiree wins hands down. South Africa are minows in the water in terms of game play with Women’s football playing its first game in 1993!!
Germany are quick on the ball and to attack, with a couple of young guns being blooded. A minor push sees Germany with a free kick and they are loading the box but safe hands from the keeper Dlamini (can I just say how challenging it is to make any puns with surnames like that, all I want to do is sing the Lion King wear pink pyjamas instead).
Some nice passing from Banyana but still most of the game play is in their half with Germany pressuring. Anytime it gets up the German end their backline shuts it down quick smart. Spritz Dabritz manages the first shot on goal but it bubbles over the cross bar with no help needed from Dlamini. Dabritz makes another run and ignores the hooting from Huth to get the ball. Matlou and Magull challenge resulting in another free kick for Germany. Lovely cross and Huth get a touch to the ball but a hand ball from the Germans means South Africa are safe still. Lovely invention of a set piece from the Germans unlike the Accordian – I’m sorry but what is with that instrument – unless you are in a beer hall and then it should definitely be around with lots of beer??
South Africa do get to claim a first for the World Cup in the form of a red card for Vilakazi in their match against Spain, which was also the game they scored their first world cup goal! A game of many firsts for Banyana. Schweers swishes a lovely corner in and a spot on header for Leupolz sees Germany 1 nil up just before the 15 minutes mark.
Schweers to Spritz Debritz to Popp but a lovely save by Dlamini who then gives an awesome dressing down to her backline who were really no where to be seen.
Free flowing play sees a free kick to Banyana who quickly turn it over. First real chance for BAnyaya and they keep handing the ball over before they reach the German box. Just to give an indication of how in their infancy the South African women’s football comp is, the current captain of Banyana formed her own team in the South African competition. That’s one way of being able to play the game you love!!
A pass backwards by Hegering to Schultz almost sees a Banyana goal with a fast chase by Fulutudilu (try saying that 5 times fast!) This is the most amount of time the Banyana ladies have spent in the German 1/3 and the solid backline are getting a workout.
A touch by the referee sees the uncontested drop ball taken by Banyana and straight back to Germany who then very quickly move it up their left hand side and a quick cross and a fatal mistake by Dlamini who punches but doesn’t hold the ball and the opportunity is pounced on by Spritz Dabritz to get her second goal of the world cup.
Whilst Germany have the lead 2-0 there have been 3 straight forward goal shots that should have been clear and have not found the net. Dlamini is down, I repeat down! Thankfully just a cramp and the game goes on. Dabritz, to Huth to Popp and first goal for Alexandra Popp at this World Cup on her 99 th appearance for Germany. Gorgeous header and Dlamini just couldn’t reach it. 3 nil to the German giants! No wonder people find them so intimidating – although there hasn’t been as much machine like movement as I expected. Given the stats say 10 shots on goal to 1, the score could be a lot worse. And whilst some of it has been good defense from Banyana I would say more is because of inefficiency from the Germans – bet you never thought that would be a sentence!! Nice to hear the French crowd are supporting the Banyana girls.
Back for the second half and South Africa are making some substitutions. A great run by Banyana see them finally get a chance to attack but a slight slip before the boot sees the ball go wide of the goal. Quickly back to Germany attacking and a challenge by Ramalepe on Huth sees no call by the ref and game on. Ramalepe again challenge and this time a free kick to Magull who has had the wind knocked out of her – woof! A stretcher? Surely she is fine??? It didn’t look that serious even in the 5 replays they showed. Poor stretcher bearers just want to feel part of the game. Free kick cleared – the score does not reflect the awesome job Dlamini is doing against the German attack.
Ramalepe gets a yellow card – given she has challenged 3 times in 7 minutes it was only time before it happened. This time against Huth. Wait a German was booked as well – Magull. Not sure why? Maybe she head something to the ref??
So free kick straight into the wall and no goal. Gosh so many attempts but Germany are not hitting the sweet spot (black forrest cake anyone?) and are also being saved by Dlamini. Head clash between Doorson and Vilakaza. Vilakazi made a kamikaze move, and it did not end well! Not only did she get a headache she also got a yellow for a bad challenge. Free kick by Simon, a diving header by Hegering and only a touch by Dlamini sees a run in by Magull to net Germany’s 4 th goal of the game.
I would love to see the Banyana ladies net a goal in this game. They are throwing everything at this game, including their bodies in some awkward challenges. Gosh poor South Africa have had a run of 13 winless games! How did they qualify?
Another gorgeous cross by Germany by Dlamini seems to have found some glue on her gloves and managed to hold the ball this time round. The German goal keeper (Schult) on the other hand is looking bored and like she wants to have a snooze for all the time she has had with her hands on the ball this game. Mind you she has an awesome kick. All I can think of is Hogans Heroes and Schultz saying “I know nothink!!!”.
The South African backline are doing a brilliant job, two defensive headers by Matlou in two minutes and a clearance by van Wyk. However another yellow is awarded to South Africa – this time Mulaudzi.
Honestly I cannot say enough how surprised I am at the score given the pressure they keep putting on the Banyana Ladies – under pressure bum bum bum da da bum. A rare attempt at attacking by Banyana see a lovely cross and no yellow shirts to be seen in the box. Van Wyk shows her frustration and makes a tremendous strike from way out which just clears the cross bar and no luck. Then another attack by Kgatlana and Schult has been woken up rather abruptly but a chance missed.
Looks like another goal for Germany who Popp it in! but relief by van Wyk that the flag goes up and Popp is not awarded the goal. Kgatlana has been a welcome boost of energy to the Banyana team and is able to burst out of the field but is just getting caught at the end by the Germans. Shult sees the light in the sun and is lucky to make the save.
Thankfully no more goals are forthcoming for the Germans but it was such a shame to see South Africa did not score.
By Debbie Hennessy