At least the heat reminded me of the disappointing World Cup finish of the German women footballers in the quarterfinals. As in Rennes, France, at the end of June, high temperatures over 30 degrees prevailed in Kassel. But otherwise?
The flanks of the outside players seemed to be better placed than last, the conclusion of Alexandra Popp by head seemed more powerful, the defense safer, goals for the team to Dzsenifer Marozsán get back to combinations. Almost eight weeks ago, often only standard situations helped, much spasm and little ease accompanied the game of the team of German coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
In this sense, the 10-0 victory (5-0) at the start of the European Championship qualifier against Montenegro can be regarded as a successful restart. "Today was all about the joy of the game," said defender Sara Doorsoun, and if you listened to triple goalscorer Popp, then there was the joy: "That was really fun," said the striker, after a disappointing for them World Cup at now 102 international matches and 51 hits.
Montenegro was not an indicator
So what happened between the World Cup quarter-finals against Sweden, when the team lost control after the first goal of the tournament and retired, and now that ten-goal gala in the European Championship qualifier prelude? The fact that captain Popp regained her head power in the heights of the Kasseler mountains, is at least considered unlikely. Also, that shortly before the match there were flowers from the DFB officials Oliver Bierhoff and Rainer Koch for their 100th international match at the World Cup, the Wolfsburg woman should not have given much of a boost.
It is more likely that the opponent was much too weak and it was not the last significant success of the German footballers on the way to the finals in England in 2021. Montenegro, this is a dwarf in women's football, for the selection, it was the 25th international match ever. In the European Championship qualifier in 2017, the team was defeated in all eight games, conceded 51 goals. Montenegro is number 98 of the Fifa World Ranking.
This clear success of the DFB team was allowed to plan, the players hinted later. "One goal was not to allow a shot on goal," said Doorsoun meaningfully: "We have succeeded."
DPA / David Inderlied
Montenegro's Sladana Bulatovic relies on the eighth goal in the goal net.
And this is another important finding in addition to the successful combinations and the ten hits against an overstretched opponent: The defensive, it wiggled at any time. This is already one of the most exciting personalities in the DFB team: Lena Oberdorf already celebrated her international debut at the World Cup in France, now could the 17-year-old young star finally play in the first team.
The Allrounder from Essen was allowed to start against Montenegro for the first time in the center-back at the side of Doorsoun - and she looked as if she would be in good hands there in the future as well. Clarified, she appeared, even if Oberdorf was rarely requested, even their passes in the opening game were strong. "She has great qualifications," said the coach, Doorsoun said: "It worked very well."
Oberdorf is next to the 18-year-old Klara Bühl, who scored two goals, and World Cup discovery Giulia Gwinn (best young player of the tournament, read an interview with the 20-year-olds here) a promise for the future. They should once shape the DFB team.
Olympic Off weighs heavily
But to improve, the young generation has to compete regularly at top level. For Gwinn this is possible at least in the club at Bayern, which has title chances in the Champions League. However, in the national team and the European Championship qualification on Gwinn and Co., no real endurance tests are waiting: The upcoming opponent Ukraine is still considered a slightly stronger group opponent (Tuesday, 16 clock, live ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE), but was not represented at the World Cup.
Greece and Ireland are clear outsiders. The 10-0 draw against Montenegro reminded them how difficult it is to miss the 2020 Summer Olympics and not compete with the best national teams in the world.
Another task for the coming months: The team must be more visible, stir the game for its games. Although the bus of the DFB fan club was parked in front of the stadium in Kassel - but stuck with the faces of the male international to Manuel Neuer. In the stadium itself, the party atmosphere was exuberant among the 6275 spectators, but with closed grandstands behind the gates, there are no pictures that convey a sense of optimism. And the kick-off at 12:30 clock will not have contributed to the fact that a particularly large number of fans from further out of the team travel afterwards.
Why not dare? On 9 November, the DFB team denies a friendly match at the London Wembley stadium against England. The English association has already sold more than 50,000 tickets, he will celebrate a new national attendance record, such pictures go around the world. And a real endurance test is this game against the World Cup Fourth also.
Germany - Montenegro 10: 0 (5: 0)
1: 0 Huth (3rd)
2: 0 Popp (7th)
3: 0 Popp (24.)
4: 0 Buhl (35.)
5: 0 Popp (38.)
6: 0 Doorsoun (52.)
7: 0 Knaak (54.)
8: 0 Bühl (59.)
9: 0 Schüller (82.)
10: 0 Dallmann
Germany: Frohms - Knaak, Doorsoun, Oberdorf, Gwinn (61st Smoke) - Magull, Däbritz (53rd L. Dallmann), Huth, Maroszan, Popp (53rd Schüller) - Buhl
Montenegro: Cabarkapa - Popovic, Saranovic, Djurkovic, Bozic Ramcilovic (67th Ramcilovic) - Djukic, Pavicevic, Bulatovic - Stanovic, Kuc (90. + 2 Vujadinovic), Djokovic (58th Karlicic)
Referee: Gonzalez Gonzalez
Yellow cards: Magull / Popovic, Bulatovic