The second game of the 2019 Women’s World Cup saw a strong Germany outfit take on a fiery China side in Rennes. Marina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team eventually ran out 1-0 winners over the Iron Rose in what was a fiercely contested match.
Germany looked strong from the very start with China finding Alexandra Popp to be real thorn in the side. The Wolfsburg striker came close more than once in that first half. She had an effort cleared off the line from a Dzsenifer Marozsan delivery and moments later, she beat China goalkeeper Peng Shimeng in the air, heading just over the bar. Popp felt the effects of that one though, twisting her ankle as she clattered back to the ground.
As the half went on, China grew into the game more and more with Gu Yasha giving the German defence all kinds of issues. Right at the end of the half, Gu Yasha received the ball in open space on the left side of the penalty area – she had a great opportunity to test Almuth Schult in the German goal but chose instead to square it – failing to find a teammate.
Just a few minutes earlier, China had squandered another great opportunity to take the lead when Yang Li received the ball on the edge of the box before hitting the post with a decent curling effort.
The second half started much the way the first did really, with Germany on top. The breakthrough that the game so desperately needed eventually came in the 65th minute from Giulia Gwinn. The youngster picked the ball up on the edge of the box following a clearance from a corner, she took one touch to set herself and then unleashed a hammer into the near corner. The goalkeeper was beaten before she even knew what was happening.
The second half continued in that same vein as China struggled to make much of an impact. The Germany we saw in the last fifteen minutes of the second half and the Germany side that we watched in the second half were vastly different entities.
China were left ruing those missed opportunities at the end of the first half and ultimately, they begin their World Cup campaign with a loss. Germany weren’t at their best but they begin their tournament with three points on the board – I’m sure Voss-Tecklenburg will be more than pleased with that.