The Germans kicked off their 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup campaign with an echo of their 2012 group play performance, with a shutout win over the United States. The 2-0 defeat of the Americans was hailed as revenge for the teams’ last meeting, the 2012 championship match that saw the U.S. bounce back from the thrashing in group to take gold, while Germany went home with silver.
Both sides are considered favorites again this year but opened play with an equal showing of nerves. The Germans were quicker to settle into possession and improved in organization throughout the game. The Americans narrowly edged their opponents in shots in the first half, but the game remained scoreless at the break.
Germany dominated play after the return to the pitch, missing out on an early chance at the open net that deflected off the post. Persistence finally paid off in the 65th minute as Lena Petermann buried a through ball from Pauline Bremer, who had been involved in Germany’s best opportunities thus far.
The U.S. attempted to respond with a missed header by Lindsey Horan and a late flurry by Mallory Pugh, but the Germans sealed their lead with an insurance goal in the 90th minute ahead of injury time.
With the group’s other match ending in a draw, Germany sits alone atop Group B. The U.S. will need to regroup and concentrate on earning results in the remaining matches. The group’s next round will be Friday, August 8, with Germany meeting China PR and the USA facing off against Brazil.
GER – Lena Petermann (Pauline Bremer) – 65′
GER – Theresa Panfil (Kathrin Schermuly) – 90′
USA – Rose Lavelle (caution, 18′)
GER – Margarita Gidion (caution, 74′)