|July 29th, 2012|
|6||Pool B||9:15pm||GER - USA||2 - 1 (2 - 0)||Final||x 2|
Germany scraped to victory over the USA but they were hugely relieved as the USA had them on the ropes for the majority of the second half, Yvonne Frank just about keeping the three points in tact. They looked to be cruising when Fanny Rinne’s drag-flick and a classy Lisa Hahn finish had them 2-0 up at half-time. But the US earned four second half corners, one of which Lauren Crandall scrambled home.
It set up a grandstand closing quarter in which the Americans looked the more likely to score next but Frank ensured no more goals came. Like many of the other fancied tournament challengers today, Germany appeared to have the game wrapped up at half-time. They forced Amy Swensen into two brilliant early saves, the latter a sliding effort to deny Lisa Hahn’s corner deflection at the right post. But she was powerless to deny the second corner, Fanny Rinne emphatically picking out the top corner eight minutes in.
Pure German class saw them move 2-0 up. A swift diagonal attack from right to left saw Janne Muller-Wieland locate Hahn drifting left and away from goal. She was unmarked but still had plenty to do from a narrow angle but unleashed a rocket on her reverse.
There were plenty of signs in the first half that the US were keen for the fight, though, and they returned after the break fired up. Laubach drew an excellent touch from Frank after a successful video referral appeal won their second corner.
Kayla Bashore-Smedley was bossing midfield at this stage and her incisive pass found Michelle Vitesse with a golden chance to get one back but she dithered too long when Frank was prone.
A corner did ensue, though, and Laubach’s drag took a couple of deflections before injector Crandall dived on it to pull one back. Katie O’Donnell thought she had a leveller only for Julia Reinprecht to intervene with a foot before the ball rolled in before Frank smothered another O’Donnell volley.
It was just not to be and Germany held on for what could be a vital three points.
Michi Behrmann (GER) on Germany's victory: "I'm really happy we won our first match against a really strong opponent. It's good to start with a win and now we can focus on our next match against Australia."
Rachel Dawson (USA) on the result: "Obviously we wanted to come out with maybe a better result, 2-1 was a tough score, so we go back to the drawing board. I think we were definitely tournament-ready, we are at a good place fitness-wise and we have a good balance of youth and experience.
On her role as the USA's most capped player in the current squad (186 caps): "I think it's about being consistent, not just through the tournament, but in every single game we play. That's my role and I tend to lead through action."