Having fought to a 2-1 victory over Vietnam at the end of June, Germany looked to continue their preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup with another friendly match. They’d face Zambia in Fürth, with their African opponents having been held to a 3-3 draw by Switzerland last time out.
GER: Frohms; Rauch, Hegering, Hendrich, Brand; Oberdorf, Bühl; Huth, Magull, Däbritz; Popp
ZAM: Musonda; Tembo, Mweemba, Musase, Belemu; Katongo, S. Banda, Lubandji; Kundananji, B. Banda, Chitundu
With just a few minutes played, Zambia were quick to apply pressure as Barbra Banda raced through on goal – the forward’s progress was halted only by Hegering’s well-timed tackle. The striker, donning the captain’s armband, looked to be the focal point of Bruce Mwape’s attack as she came close once more, this time curling an effort just wide of the far post.
But as the half matured, Germany sought to assert their dominance over their opposition. Neat interplay within the penalty area ultimately saw the ball forced back out deep, with a pinpoint cross delivered to the marauding Felicitas Rauch on the left flank – her first-time strike flew inches wide of the woodwork.
Martina Voss-Teckelenburg’s side dominated from that point forwards, but were unable to find the opener before the break despite Alexandra Popp’s best efforts. They were punished for their inablity to find the back of the net soon after the interval, as Racheal Kundananji dispossessed Sjoeke Nüsken on the halfway line before playing Barbra Banda through on goal. The striker picked out the far corner with pinpoint accuracy, settling her strike in the back netting after a deflection off the woodwork!
And no sooner than the Zambian fans had stopped celebrating, Kundananji added Zambia’s second of the evening from a central position. Given Germany’s dominance for large parts of the first half, Voss-Teckelenburg will undoubtedly be disappointed in her side’s start to the second half.
Sydney Lohmann looked to sneak home at the far post following a delivery from the left flank, but the German was only able to sky her effort well over the crossbar. In many ways, Germany had looked similar to England against Portugal – unable to convert their numerous chances.
The DFB-Frauenteam‘s best chance came via a free-kick, but as Alexandra Popp teed up Carolin Simon, the substitute’s effort struck the woodwork – and you couldn’t help but feel that this simply wouldn’t be Germany’s night.
But as the clock struck ninety minutes, Lea Schüller’s powerful header from a corner put the hosts firmly back in contention – and with ten minutes added on, the feeling that they could come back to claim something from this affair was palpable.
And this fairytale ending looked to be completed with just ten seconds remaining as Popp rose highest from Svenja Huth’s cross to level the game – until a through ball to Barbra Banda saw Merle Frohms caught off her line, allowing the Zambian forward to unleash an audacious chip to put the African side ahead once more.
FromTheSpot will be bringing you coverage of every game throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including previews and detailed reports. We’ll cover games in the buildup to the tournament too, so you can get a feel for the potential favourites ahead of action getting underway in Australia and New Zealand.