Official FIFA.com match website:
indepth tactical analysis website (in German):
A brilliant match? It depends!
It depends on what you expected and what you looked out for. Let us not forget there was no China (Despite giving them a lot of credit) involved but world no1 and no3.
I would rather break it down which leads to very ambiguous results:
1. Players technical abilities. Have been widely great. Even in the other quarter final matches we still will see some inept touches or kicking of the ball in difficult situations. Very rarely at this game.
2. Players physical abilities. Have been great. A high tempo game even in extra time would suggest that on this level it is time to start some decent analysis on how much distance the players have run. If you know anything where this is at display please drop me a line.
3. Players tactical abilities. (Individual players ability!). Have been not great. You still see some strange decision making of good players in quite a lot of situations. It happens in mens football too. But far far less. Things like when to take a shot, when to attack in a duel and when to retreat, when to play the ball and when to keep it, when to play the short ball and when better hit it long. But there are of course interferences with team tactics as well. And here we go.
4. Team tactical abilities. Have been poor. For a good reason there are many talks about Sasakis Japan. Because that is by a country-mile the outstanding “team” in regards to making a “team” working together and getting much more out of it than its 11 parts. And so with all the great running, the great tempo, the great technical skills on display in this game there has been so much room to improve and develop the team play that you cannot rate this a brilliant match in all aspects. Unfortunately you have not seen even at least one attack with half of the team play of Japans 2:0 goal. Not 50%, let alone all 100% of it. And you dont want to start to think about the poor defense. Especially how Germany defended Thomis. And how France managed to not take advantage. Maybe the best is to leave that without words or at least dont look to closely on what was a textbook like sample of how you could improve your team behaviour and team play in defense.
It looked somewhat like 11 brilliant white players battled 11brillant blue players, but it was all wildly, uncoordinated, like “where is my next enemy? let me run at her and battle her straight away”. To be more positive you can change the adjectives from this match from wild and uncoordinated into natural and instinctive.
As expected from their previous matches (read the preview of this match here and the Sweden game analysis here) Germany are running into trouble when their opponents are not too much struggling with the pressure the German players put on their opponents in attacking them high up the pitch and in midfield in 1on1 situations but instead are able to find a way to play through it. This had been revealed already by the very first attack where the German back organization was all over the place with no center back in the box, and holding midfielder Leupolz (who as well should not necessarily have been positioned there in this situation) to be the only one to put a little bit of pressure on Necib who has to score on such occasions on a day where Germany was as beatable as not often before. From that moment on you got a sense that even on such an occasion the French could proof second best comes the end of the day again.
And indeed it should remain their best (and only clear cut) scoring opportunity of the game. Until minutes from the end of extra time Thiney missed the golden opportunity and a sitter from 5 yards what looked like she saw the offside flag from the lineswoman. Who would have bet though that even in this case the french would not have been able to concede another late draw.
Should France have won the game? – Is the most useless question of the day. Surely you can argue that Germanys late draw was a lucky one because it came by yet another controversial penalty. If that should be in the balance until the end of the tournament there might be a lucky German opponent waiting. On a side note (Even if you are a defender of the referees constantly reminding people of the fact that they have no built in slow-motion picture and only one ankle to look at it) you might have seen the worrying signs when you saw this particular referee honored after she was on duty in the game England – Colombia. And guess what: There was a certain no-penalty given for hand play and a yellow card to the Colombian goalie for what was not even a foul. Some referees seem to like to be wild with their yellow cards too. This might well play a role as the Colombian keeper problem revealed against the US.
But back to the game: Frances lead was also lucky and at that particular time it came out of nowhere just when Germany started into getting a little bit of control over the match. And it was not a pass of a team mate to set her up but a mistaken header from a German defender. And additionally it got a deflection which made it impossible for Angerer to reach.
And back to the question if France should have won. It seems that the “equipe tricolore” have lost their track completely. It seems that they have been totally torn apart by the Colombia game and desperately happy now to come even so close to a victory over the Germans. They know their weakness since years:
– Converting their great skills in football class to clear cut chances
– Converting these chances into goals
Remember they managed to beat both Germany and the USA in friendlies this season where they already had overcome these kind of problems. Can they really be happy now to be at least back where they have been years ago? Or is this a deperate try to take something out of development in the wrong direction?
So the random goals have been somewhat typical for the match where the class of both teams seemed to be consisting of 11 individual parts who had been much better individually then the “team” that was built up by them.
Still of course that will remain one of the best games of the championships and it would not have been an embarrasing statement for women football if that would have been the final. The commercial interests of FIFA to fix the ko-stage match-ups do certainly not give that aspect lots of credit. France had a golden opportunity however to change their route to the final by exchanging their group placing with England. To manage a narrow 1:0 instead of the 5:0 against Mexico (to place 2nd) would have been the much easier task than beating Germany (let alone USA on route) which again proofed too much.
Player of the match:
Has to be a defender for sure. And despite the french backs played very well if you want to take one of the winner it can only be Krahn or Maier. From whom I would take Maier because she added some attacking desire as well to a good defensive showing not only in the lead up to the penalty despite we have already seen stronger performances of her.
Player Ratings Germany (0-10)
Again showed her ability to focus and come up big at the big moments.
No problems on her side in the back. Lots of energy constantly supporting the mid fielders in attacking.
Often got in the way of French attacks.
Could not quite keep up with Krahn. Another ranking point lost because of the french goal.
Showed that she has not a lot of experience as full back. Strange positioning.
Once again the most influential German player in midfield.
Lots of room for improvement in individual tactics. Got better in using her athleticism the longer the game went on.
Showed her skills here and there to no avail. At least threatening opponents and working the free spaces.
Forced back by the German tactics. And did ok there. But the least influential of all german forward players.
Expect her to be of lesser influence when the Germans are kept away from the box. Still a strange substitution.
What did she play? No effect going forward. Sometimes helping the defense, sometimes not. Strange.
A Sasic taylor-made game when she has acres of spaces to run into. But also to no effect.
Player Ratings France (0-10)
Her extravagant box play does not settle the nerves of the players. But she got there this time. Good free kick save.
Best player on the pitch. But that doesnt help if the team is out.
Nearly the same as Renard.
France certainly a better team with her. Pity we didnt see her together with Boulleau in action.
Solid as usual but defense only.
A lucky goal lifts her rating but we used to see more from her before her injury.
Always looks stronger in physical battles. Very good in defense. No factor in offense.
Much improved and a fine game to be about on level with the others.
Threat level: 10. Efficiency level: 4.
Another part that got hardly any connection to the game or her team.
The days where a french forward helps her team to win a big game are still to come.