Sweden Take Their Chances Against Germany


Will the Winner Take it all? (Finally an opportunity for some ABBA puns and a challenge to fit in as many song titles as I can – Challenge accepted!) Would have loved to see Sweden exit the tunnel to the sounds of Arrival. But don’t worry Germany also have a Popp supergroup – a little known band called Modern Talking. 

Germany had an easy run through the Quarter finals with a smashing of Nigeria and have not yet conceded a goal this competition. Sweden got through the tough group F in second place to the USA and had a hard fought battle against Canada to get here. With both teams players having some yellow cards it will be interesting to see if they hold back.

Wow Germany have not conceded a first half World Cup goal since 2003 also against Sweden! A lot of history between these sides.

Germany are quick to attack in the 4th minutes but with a header by Popp straight to the Goalie the Swedes are safe. Another push by Dallman and Fischer panics to give away a penalty outside the box however there are some very safe hands in the keeper Lindahl. Lindahl asks for Andante Andante from her players and a settling of the game.

A clear off side by Germany and surprisingly a flag by the sideline ref is held up before VAR.

Sophia Jakobssen makes a gorgeous run for their first attack on the German goal but whilst they Have a Dream even a corner does not secure a goal.

Popp playing a much deeper role in midfield to hopefully clear the Swedish defence. A mistake by Sweden in their own half sees the ball turned over and Spritz Debritz is quick to take advantage with a neat pass to Magul who then juggles the ball and makes a beautiful sideways kick to slide the ball through Lindahl’s legs for the first goal. 

A quick response by Sweden and the German goal keeper finally gets her hands on the ball. But Germany are in the mood for some goals and Ready for the Victory (honestly if you have never listened to Modern Talking give it a go!)

A long ball by Sweden in the 22nd minute sees Jakobssen ask for her side to Take a Chance on me. She is on side and 1/3 of the way into the German half. A clear run to the goalie and she slots it neatly into the bottom left hand corner with the German goalie lamenting the ball Slipping through her Fingers. 

Another chance by Sweden at 31minutes and I see a chink in the German armour. Long balls see their defence not set and Captain Popp has to race back to help bolster the side. Much talk was heard about the German defence being so strong however have they really been tested this tournament so far? Shots on goal are fairly even.

Fluids break.

Simon down and on the sideline so Germany are briefly down to 10 players while she is being looked at but back again rather gingerly on her knee. Substitute and Maihr on.

Corner for Sweden and a game of aerial ping pong finally sees it being cleared but the Swedes are in sight of the goal and continue to attack. Germany are finally seeing some action in their box and I’m not sure they like it or know how to deal with it given they haven’t really been pressed in this World Cup so far.

Half time score is 1-1 and gee it looks warm – and at 3am in the morning in Sydney I am so jealous for some heat! Uggies, Dressing gown, blanket and dog on my lap are just not enough to feel warm! 

Back for the second half and Germany bring on the big guns with attacker Marozsan. What can they do this half to break the dead lock?

Wow 48th minute and maybe Germany should have brought on defenders not attackers. A sweet cross by Jakobssen is headed in to the goalie who doesn’t get their hands on it but punches it back to Blackstenius who nets it in the corner. Sweden are 2-1 up.

Most of Sweden’s shots on goal have been a result of a long ball – if Germany get through this they will need tighten their defence and be prepared for this. Shultz is actually having to work.

Yellow to Rolfo which means she is out of the next match for what looked like an accidental step on a German players foot. Fischer off with an injury and the Swedish defence wont be the same without the 34 yo. Germany defence however is wide open like a cleared Black Forrest and Blackstenius makes a gorgeous run only to be tackled at the last minute. 

Short corner by Marozsan and straight to Lindahl with the hands of glue. Oberdorf lucky to not get a yellow card after a foul on Asllani but a free kick given instead. Fluids break and again I am jealous of the obvious warmth on the tele thinking of Our Last Summer with envy. 

Jakobbsen makes a run and looks dangerous but a direct ball to Shultz and a return header to by a German player and sees it safe again. 

Lindahl tries to clear the ball with a punch and instead clears Popp who falls to the ground momentarily dazed. Possibly penalty but cleared by VAR as Popp was also called off side by the sideline ref. Popp back on after a medical check. 

Popp is really being taken out by the Swedes – if it were a date I asked for my money back! This time Illistadt in a contest for a high ball and bodies clash. Free kick and Popp takes her frustration at a date gone wrong by taking out a different Swede. Speed dating at its worst or best!

Another penalty in the Swedish third and whilst Lindahl wasn’t there Oberdorf had a sweet header with no opposition and just couldn’t see the goal.

Sweden aren’t satisfied with just sitting and waiting, again the German defence are left confused as Blackstenius is free to take a shot. No luck but Jakobbseen gives it another go a minute later. 

Germany are not resting either and make a beautiful attacking run but Lindahl is standing tall and taking them left right and centre. Extra 6 minutes stoppage time and can Germany equalise?

Neither team are time wasting and there is desperation in the air! Lindalh is barking orders to her defence and the ball is quick to move from one end to the other with multiple shots being taken. 

When All is Said and Done the Swedes are the Super Troupers!!!!! And for Germany Atlantis is Calling SOS.

By Debbie Hennessy

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