German Efficiency Too Good For Makeshift Matildas

Germany 5-2 Australia

By Ben Gilby

Above: Kathrin Hendrich (3) celebrates her goal with Tabea Wassmuth. Photo: @DFB_Frauenfussball.

An impressive attacking display from a technically brilliant German side missing several regulars, ensured that they ran out comfortable winners against a makeshift Australia in Wiesbaden.

The Matildas, playing their first game for thirteen months and with Tony Gustavsson taking the reins, were only able to pick European based players which meant two first choice defenders were unable to make the journey and there was only one recognised left back in the team, Karly Roestbakken, who would go off injured with only fifteen minutes played. Ellie Carpenter, who has been in outstanding form for Olympique Lyonnais was also ruled out due to a string of coronavirus infections within her club.

Australia started aggressively and at high tempo for the opening ten minutes but things began to unravel.

With eleven minutes on the clock, Germany took the lead following a ball coming in from the right which Aivi Luik got a touch to but couldn’t prevent the ball from falling to Sjoeke Nusken who fired into the bottom corner.

Things got worse four minutes later with the injury to Roestbakken, who was replaced by debutant Beattie Goad.

Germany continued to press and Lina Magull found Paulina Krumbiegel who was denied by smart work Goad. Goad came to the Matildas rescue again when Magull combined with Lea Shuller. It remained 1-0 to the hosts at the break.

Any immediate hopes that Australia had of turning the deficit around were blown within two minutes of the re-start.

Magull found Sara Dabritz who played a lovely ball into the box which was met with the side foot of Kathrin Hendrich for 2-0.

Above: Sara Dabritz gets away for Germany under the watchful eye of Emily Gielnik. Photo: @DFB_Frauenfussball.

Germany were now playing some excellent one touch football and Schuller played in Dabritz who took the ball on before laying off a pass to Tabea Wassmuth. Her shot was deflected out for a corner.

Still the pressure mounted and Nusken’s cross was met firmly by Magull. Lydia Williams in the Matildas goal managed to get a block in with the follow up effort blocked by Alanna Kennedy.

On the hour mark, Australia had a chance when Leonie Maier conceded a corner. Emily Gielnik’s flag kick came in and was met by the head of Kennedy. This effort was blocked with the rebound falling to Caitlin Foord but her effort was deflected away.

The Matildas paid the price for missing these opportunities as Germany broke up the other end to increase their lead.

Nusken got free and played in substitute Julie Brand. She escaped from Clare Polkinghorne and Laura Brock to slot into the far corner of the net with 62 minutes played.

Two minutes later it was 4-0 as a long ball from Brand found Laura Freigang who was never going to miss.

Tony Gustavsson rang the changes and brought Indiah-Paige Riley and Alex Huynh on for their debuts and there was also a welcome return to Matildas duty for Emma Checker.

Germany fashioned another two chances as Sophia Kleinherne, Brand and Freigang all hit efforts narrowly over the bar.

Above: Hayley Raso gets away towards the end as the Matildas got on the front foot. Photo: @TheMatildas

With ten minutes to go, Australia got on the front foot with Hayley Raso getting down the wing and earning a throw. Checker took and found Gielnik who tried to turn but the effort was cleared.

A minute later the Matildas and Gielnik had better luck. Polkinghorne’s long ball through found her club team mate Gielnik who used her strength to see off both Nusken and Kleinherne and fire home.

Germany were not finished though and from a free-kick, Linda Dallmann shook off Hyunh to fire home for 5-1.

In true Matildas “never say die” attitude, Australia hit back with a long ball played in by Raso which was met with the classic Emily Gielnik header for her second goal of the afternoon.

It was undoubtedly a disappointing result for Australia regardless of the predicament in which they found themselves – a limited team-selection, a new head coach and the first time any of these players had been able to meet up since March 2020.

One positive that the Matildas can take out of a tough afternoon is the fact that the players who made their debuts in the game, quite incredibly, were only the tenth new faces to play for the team since Tara Andrews won her first cap against China in 2015. There’s plenty more young superstars to follow these debutants into the Australia side in the future, but first this current crop must overcome their existing disadvantages to face another exceptionally tough game in the Netherlands on Tuesday evening.

Above: The Matildas starting eleven in Wiesbaden. Photo: @TheMatildas

Teams: GERMANY: 1) Merle Frohms, 3) Kathrin Hendrich, 4) Leonie Maier, 5) Marina Hegering, 7) Lea Schuller, 8) Paulina Krumbiegel, 13) Sara Dabritz, 15) Tabea Wassmuth, 20) Lina Magull, 24) Jana Feldkamp, 25) Sjoeke Nusken. Substitutes used: 16) Linda Dallmann, 19) Julie Brand, 14) Laura Freigang, 22) Fabienne Dongs, 10) Linda Dallmann, 2) Sophia Kleinherne.

Scorers: Nusken 11, Hendrich 48, Brand 62, Freigang 64, Dallmann 90.

AUSTRALIA: 1) Lydia Williams, 3) Aivi Luik, 4) Clare Polkinghorne, 7) Karly Roestbakken, 9) Caitlin Foord, 10) Emily van Egmond, 14) Alanna Kennedy, 15) Emily Gielnik, 16) Hayley Raso, 17) Mary Fowler, 20) Sam Kerr. Substitutes used: 13) Beattie Goad, 5) Laura Brock, 8) Amy Sayer, 12) Indiah-Paige Riley, 23) Emma Checker, 2) Alex Hyunh.

Scorers: Gielnik 82, 90+2.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

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