Germany Earns Late Draw with Australia

In what turned out to be the first draw of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament, Germany came from behind to grab  a 2-2 draw and earn a point in a crucial Group F matchup in São Paulo, Brazil, on Saturday.

This tournament isn’t shaping up as many thought it would, me included, for Australia. After a terrific 2015 World Cup, Australia looked primed to earn a medal in Rio.  However, heading into the final day of group-stage play, Australia has earned one point through two matches.

It started out well enough, with the Matildas showing the proper sense of urgency a team that had lost to 10-player Canada in their opening match should have. In the 6th minute, Sam Kerr had acres of space on the left and made the most of it, firing a left-footed shot near post that beat German keeper Almuth Schult.

Just before the half, Caitlin Foord doubled the lead off a pass from Lisa De Vanna, whose individual effort along the end line included a brilliant nutmeg.

It looked as if Australia would take the lead and momentum into halftime but Germany struck in stoppage time to cut the lead in half. Sara Däbritz made a run from midfield, losing her defender Elise Kellond-Knight in the process, to collect Alexandra Popp’s on her left foot. She took it well, a gorgeous outside-of-the-foot strike that went upper 90.

Australia came out in the second half and to their credit, continued to press for another goal rather than sit on their 2-1 lead. Germany came out of the locker room looking for the equalizer, putting the Matildas on their heels early. It made for an entertaining match, with both teams pressing.

Last-minute defending by Leonie Maier in the 61st minute kept the ball out of the German net and the one-goal lead for Australia. Michelle Heyman came on and made her presence known with a deft touch around Saskia Bartusiak to fire a shot that Schult parried away.

Germany found the opening it needed in the 88th minute. Melanie Behringer’s free kick from the left found Bartusiak crashing the backpost. Bartusiak guided the ball in with her body to equalize for Germany.

Up Next

Australia faces Zimbabwe on Tuesday, August 9. In the other group-stage finale, Germany takes on group leaders Canada, which defeated Zimbabwe, 3-1, earlier in the day.

 

 

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