In the first international match after being eliminated from the preliminary round at the World Cup in Australia, there is a lot at stake for the DFB women. Denmark and Bayern newcomer Pernille Harder are waiting in Viborg.
The time of walking on the way to a big tournament is finally over for the German footballers who were once spoiled for success.
The first step in the Nations League today (6 p.m./ARD) in Viborg against Denmark is for the Olympic tickets for Paris 2024 – and the selection process is tough. Seven weeks after the World Cup debacle, the selection of Britta Carlson, who represents the ill national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, cannot afford any slip-ups.
“Of course we know what’s at stake. That’s why nothing counts as a victory,” said captain Alexandra Popp. The game against Iceland is scheduled to take place in Bochum on Tuesday (6:15 p.m./ZDF), and the other group opponents are Wales. Only the top four in the group make it to the semi-finals – and only the final participants are allowed to go to the summer games. Host France is the third European team in Paris.
Via the Nationa League to Paris
The German team has won Olympic bronze three times so far and won gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. It already missed out on taking part in Tokyo in 2021 due to its World Cup quarter-final exit in France, also under Voss-Tecklenburg at the time. For the first time, tickets will be allocated via the Nations League. “Basically, you can be happy that the qualification is now taking place like this and not through the tournament,” said Popp in view of the preliminary round elimination from the World Cup.
Carlson expects “a game on equal terms” against a very robust Danish team led by Bayern newcomer Pernille Harder. Popp thinks the new format is fundamentally “really cool. We now have teams in our group that are extremely strong, where we want to compete, wherever you look, where you stand right now.” At the same time, the top scorer from VfL Wolfsburg knows with a view to a possible progression after the group games: “There are still a few other things to come.”
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