Nations League | DFB women award first Olympic match point

Paris still has to wait: After a brutal collapse shortly before half-time, the German footballers missed their first Olympic match point.

The selection of interim national coach Horst Hrubesch lost the Nations League semi-final in France 1:2 (0:2) and now needs a victory in the small final against the Dutch on Wednesday to fulfill their dream of the Summer Games.

Kadidiatou Diani (40th) and Sakina Karchaoui from the penalty spot (45th + 4) scored for the French in Lyon. Almost seven months after the World Cup debacle, the European vice-champions have to fear for their chance to make amends. Giulia Gwinn’s goal with a hand penalty (82′) didn’t change that.

“We have two chances for the Olympics. But we should – if possible – use the first one,” said Hrubesch on ARD shortly before kick-off: “But we know that it will be very difficult.”

There was no lack of support from the management of the German Football Association (DFB). President Bernd Neuendorf and managing director Andreas Rettig were excited in the stands. Sports director Nia Künzer already looked ahead to the time after Hrubesch before the game: “I’m optimistic that we’ll find someone who isn’t Horst 2.0 – but who will still have a great development with the team.”

After a minute’s silence for Franz Beckenbauer and Andreas Brehme, things immediately got intense in front of around 30,267 spectators. Both teams gave each other nothing in the first few minutes, but there were no real chances to score.

That changed in the 15th minute. Captain Alexandra Popp caused danger in front of the French goal with a header from a corner. Three minutes later, it was Klara Bühl who tested the French goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin with a shot from the half-left position.

The Germans impressed with strong duels on defense and straight forward play. In the 30th minute it was Bühl who took the lead again. A goal for the guests was in the air at this point, and Hrubesch took part on the sideline.

However, the last minutes of the first half belonged to the French. After a free kick, the Germans couldn’t get the ball out of the danger zone, Diani scored with a strong finish from the edge of the penalty area. Selma Bacha could have even increased shortly afterwards (45th). Karchaoui did this from the penalty spot before the break. Lena Oberdorf had previously clearly fouled Grace Geyoro.

At the start of the second round, Hrubesch brought in three new players in Sydney, Lohmann, Jule Brand and local hero Sara Däbritz from Olympique Lyon. Among other things, the ailing defense chief Marina Hegering had to go out.

The changes initially had little effect. The Germans didn’t have more than a field superiority, only at corners did things get tricky for the hosts here and there. The French concentrated on defense and waited for counterattacks.

After 70 minutes there was no sign of a comeback for the DFB team. Popp could have raised hope again, but the goalscorer only hit the crossbar (72′). Gwinn did it from the spot ten minutes later.