Germany lose to England

While the USWNT were gearing up to take on Japan in the Women’s World Cup Final, the 3rd place game for the tournament was taking place in Edmonton. The semifinal losers taking place in the match were England and Germany. Each team was disappointed not to be playing a day later, but there was still a high level of excitement for the match. This was essentially a European championship, as the result would produce the top European squad in the competition.

Coming into the match, the English women had never beaten Germany. Germany took the opportunity to play some younger players in the match along with their veterans to get some valuable experience for future tournaments. Both teams had multiple chances throughout the match to put one up on the board, but both goalkeepers played splendidly to keep a 0-0 scoreline after 90 minutes of play. England keeper Karen Bardsley was again back in the lineup after going out in the Canada match with an allergic reaction. She made some highlight reel saves to deny the Germans, particularly Sara Dabritz, who put a beautiful cross on target in the 2nd half. English captain Steph Houghton showed her athleticism in the 2nd half with a clearance off the line to keep the match level.

Extra time saw both teams with threatening attacks. The breakthrough moment came in the 106th minute when Tabea Kemme pulled down Lianne Sanderson in the box. Fara Williams stepped up to the spot and buried the ball in the back of the net. Germany had two excellent chances in the 115th and 116th minutes that they could not convert, and the Three Lionesses held on to capture the bronze medals for the tournament. Karen Bardsley captured the honor for Woman of the Match, keeping a clean sheet in the first ever English women’s victory over Germany.

Laura Bassett rebounded from her costly blunder versus Japan in defense, holding off the systematic German side. There were smiles all around for the English side, as this marked their 2nd best ever performance at a World Cup, men or womens. Manager Mark Sampson preached about how England will be able to use this finish as a springboard to getting more girls involved in the sport back home. This also sparks one of the few instances where England exceeded expectations. They will look to carry this momentum through to Euro competitions.

On the other side of the coin, this was a rough finish to the tournament for Germany. They were disappointed with their loss to the USA in the semifinals, and it showed in the 3rd place game. Manager Silvia Neid admitted that her side was outplayed in the match. A 4th place finish for the number one ranked team was a let down, but the Germans have a lot to look forward to. Their finish qualified them for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which was a huge part of this tournament for the European squads. They beat two Top 5 teams in the knockout stages in Sweden and France. They only had 4 players who were over 30 on this roster, leaving plenty for the future. In fact, 11 of the 23 players were 24 or younger, almost certainly to be seen in future tournaments.

As with other sides, the Germans will have to cut down their roster for the Olympic tournament to 16. That means that at least 7 players from each World Cup roster will be left off for the Olympics. England is not eligible for the Olympics since the UK competes as Team Great Britain, instead of individual countries. France takes their automatic spot by finishing as the next highest European performer in the World Cup.


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