Germany 1, Nigeria 0
Germany reached the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals, beating
Nigeria 1-0 Thursday when Simone Laudehr scored on a thunderous
volley during a 54th-minute goalmouth scramble in a surprisingly
Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer celebrated her 100th international
appearance with a shutout. The host nation, which has won both its
games, looked hardly convincing in the three-week tournament it is
favored to win.
After France routed Canada 4-0 to also advance, Germany must
beat its neighbor Tuesday if the two-time defending champions are
to win Group A. Nigeria was eliminated along with Canada. The
United States (1-0) plays Colombia in Group C on Saturday in
”We are happy to advance, but we have to work on our game,”
Germany coach Sylvia Neid said.
With Nigeria needing a victory to stay in contention, Germany
understood the task. But despite the support of a 48,817 sellout
crowd, it managed little beyond territorial domination.
In a sometimes rough game that referee Cha Sung-mi had trouble
controlling, Nigeria went head-to-head with Germany as much as
possible but was unable to create many chances against the two-time
Germany stuck with the same lineup as the one that beat Canada
2-1 in its opener, keeping star Birgit Prinz in front of her home
crowd despite a disappointing opening game.
She was just as poor this time. After a missed overhead kick
halfway through the game, she glanced at the sky in exasperation,
knowing her poor form this season has extended into the World Cup.
The 33-year-old Prinz needs one goal to become the first woman to
score at least once in five World Cups. She leads the career list
with 14 goals.
And once Neid removed Prinz, the game turned.
”I substituted her because I wanted more pressure upfield,”
Midfielder Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi swung in a low free kick from
the left. A first stab for a goal was smothered and a shot from
Alexandra Popp was blocked. But then Laudehr blasted the ball
Finally, the German flags went up in the stands and the roar was
deafening. Germany was on its way to the quarterfinals.
”It didn’t go smoothly,” Laudehr said. ”We knew that they
would be tough because they needed three points. They made our life
Even though Neid warned of a tough game, many fans thought
otherwise. Germany beat Nigeria 8-0 in an exhibition game this
season. Overall, Germany was 6-0 against Nigeria with a 21-2 goal
differential. Germany was ranked No. 2, Nigeria No. 27.
Expectations of a romp, however, proved false. Nigeria made
crunching tackles and was on edge all the time, not ready to leave
the tournament easily.
But tougher opposition is coming for Germany, with France