Thursday, June 30, 2011

WWC - Germany - Nigeria, Running Blog

It's the two-time and defending champions versus the scrappy and speedy Nigerian squad.

Anthems. Nigeria looks focused. Germany looks German. The captains fist pump at the center circle with the referees. Howie Mandel, germaphobe who is a big proponent of the fist pump, would be proud.

2 - Germany in Nigeria's box early on - Laudehr nearly puts it in.
4 - Nigeria's athleticism on show there, with a steal and a break, but the final pass is a bit short.
6 - Nigeria are probably encouraged by the team which only beat them by a goal (France) getting such a good result versus Canada.
8 - Nigeria lose the ball a lot in the midfield, but their defenders are good at takeaways. Prinz, just now had the ball stolen off her foot.
10 - Ohale with a shot from downtown off to the boondocks, that was so off-target.
12 -
Kulig with a shot from downtown, on target, forcing Precious Dede to make the save.
14 - Garefrekes gets a great crossfield pass that frees her from the Nigerian defense, but falls down when she cuts too hard on the grass. Fail.
17 - The ball runs safely in to Dede - Nigeria holding Germany off - even if they're not creating much on their own yet.
20 - What's interesting is how as supportive as the crowds in Germany are for their squad, their opponents haven't been intimidated. Nigeria certainly aren't cowed. If anything, they seem excited and joyful in their play. Pressure makes them.
22 - Chikwelu in the box, but puts her cross too close to Angerer, who collects it well.
24 - Bartusiak saves an Orji break by putting the ball out for a corner.
25 - Crowd is quieter now. Nigeria set up for the corner. Bresonik clears it for Germany.
27 - Dede grabs a wayward cross.
28 - Germany, shockingly, look tired.
30 Behringer is injured and Nigeria comes close on a freekick while Germany is a man down, but Angerer handles the danger.
31 - Nigeria get another corner, but the header attempt goes wide. Popp is now on - Behringer is done.
33 - Germany's coach Sylvia Neid looks elegantly grumpy at the match thus far. Nigeria has played Germany even, and the scoreline is an honest reflection.
35 - Da Mbabi kicks Nkowcha, wasn't malicious, but it nailed her knee and now she's on the sideline.
38 - Peter is now down. They're dropping like flies out there. Peter also got hit on the knee.
40 - Both injured players are back now, in time for a Germany freekick.
41 - Dede catches the ball.
43 - Nigeria still fighting hard, stymieing the German attack.
44 - Nigeria have a freekick. Brezonik clears it.
45 - Popp in the box, but she's caught by a Nigerian defender on the tackle and goes down hard

Halftime - Good points by Viola Oderbrecht on the desk that the Germans needs to stop complaining about Nigeria's physicality and get aggressive themselves, make their goals happen, instead of being surprised by how well Nigeria is playing. Very true.

46 - Nigeria already has a corner, and Germany are screaming at each other setting up to defend it. Not looking harmonious.
48 - Prinz gets knocked down, gets up very painfully.
49 - The freekick is cleared by Nigeria, and they also shut down a follow attack.
50 Popp gets cleaned out MMA-style, by Ohale. Finally a yellow shown.
52 - Prinz is coming out for Inka Grings. Not a good day for her.
53 - Nigeria deny two corners, and now, face a freekick from Da Mbabi.
54 - GOAL! Germany break through. Behringer flicked it on, Popp took the first shot, which was blocked - then Laudehr banged in the rebound before Dede could react. 1-0 Germany.
56 - Nigeria seem understandably deflated.
58 - Nkwocha shoots from outside - wide.
60 - Now it's Nigeria's turn to be the team whose players pick themselves up from collisions and tackles last. They've been bouncing back up first until the goal.
63 - Nigeria freekick into Germany box is whistled dead for a foul on Angerer.
63 - Good German buildup fizzles out with an off-target shot by
66 - Nigeria spell of possession broken up by Germany.
67 - Popp from distance. Dede has no problems with it.
69 - Nigeria's hard effort is beginning to show in their weariness, and sloppy passes.
72 - Or not. Mbachu in the box, fights for a shot, but gets whistled for a foul.
74 - Kulig gets a yellow for a late kick.
76 - Angerer catches a high ball, but Nigeria's players try to pressure her anyway, risking a yellow, but the referee makes no call.
79 - Nigeria still attacking the Germany goal, but the Germans are defending stoutly.
80 - Kulig from distance. High.
81 - Nigeria give up a corner kick on a bad backpass. They clear, but Grings is fouled as Nigeria try to counterattack.
85 - Nigeria throwing everything they can forward.
87 - Bajramaj coming in for Da Mbabi.
90 - The chippiness of this match continues to the end.
90+ Freekick for Nigeria leads to a corner kick. Angerer punches the ball clear, then gets fouled, but there's no call.
Popp suffers a blow to the head on a breakaway and there are murderous boos for the referee.
Final whistle! The battle royal is over. Germany and France advance.

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