Today, it was about nothing less than preserving the dream of the Olympic Games. This required a victory against Iceland, but Germany struggled.
In freezing temperatures, interim national coach Horst Hrubesch changed several positions before kick-off. Sara Doorsoun replaced the injured Marina Hegering, while Lena Lattwein replaced Sara Däbritz in midfield and Laura Freigang had to make way for Linda Dallmann.
The match started well for the DFB women: Lea Schüller almost scored the first goal in the fourth minute, but was pushed away by the ball. Germany dominated the match for much of the first half, but Iceland showed intelligent defensive behavior. Real opportunities were lacking.
Ultimately we went into the break with a dull 0-0 – also because the German team made too many bad passes, their crosses often came to nothing and there was a lack of consistency in the penalty area. However, the one who had nothing to do was goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger, as the Icelanders had nothing to do up front.
The second half started like the first. Germany could have taken the lead from the start, but Jule Brand’s header from close range was too inaccurate. Iceland continued to play happily and even came dangerously close to Berger’s goal here and there. It was only in the 64th minute that the DFB ladies managed to break free. Thanks to Icelandic goalkeeper Telma Ívarsdóttir, who beat Lea Schüller in the penalty area. Referee Tess Olofsson pointed to the spot without hesitation and Giulia Gwinn converted safely.
Those who thought it was the opening of the DFB women’s club were disappointed. Quite the contrary: too many bad passes on the German side repeatedly created good opportunities for the Icelanders. In the 85th minute, Dilja Zomers had the advantage of equalizing when she suddenly appeared alone in front of Berger in the penalty area, but the German narrowly came to her rescue. In stoppage time, Klara Bühl finally put the lid on: from 17 meters she scored the final score 2-0, which actually went to goalkeeper Ívarsdóttir. In the end, the DFB women won 2-0 thanks to two gifts. The Olympic dream is therefore still alive.
There will be the next Nations League matches later this year, in which everything is on the line for Germany. If they want to preserve their chances of qualifying for the Olympics, they must win against the group leader, Denmark (December 1, 2023). In the final group match, the DFB women will meet Wales (December 5, 2023).