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Women’s national team: Sigh of relief after shock over Oberdorf at DFB women’s team

Women’s national team: Sigh of relief after shock over Oberdorf at DFB women’s team

The German women’s football team has qualified for the European Championships. After the 3-1 win in Poland, there is a longer break ahead, which should do the team good. There are still a few questions to be answered before the Olympics.

The initial shock was great for Lena Oberdorf and Horst Hrubesch’s DFB women, but the following day the midfield star gave the all-clear.

“I would have imagined my first game as a stand-in captain to be completely different, but sometimes there are days like that, it’s not that bad,” wrote the 22-year-old on Instagram after she left the pitch early in the 3-1 win in Poland with a calf injury and in tears. Oberdorf caused a sigh of relief in the national team’s environment. Nevertheless, the German women’s footballers went on holiday with mixed feelings after their early participation in the European Championship.

Oberdorf returned to VfL Wolfsburg for examinations, where she is under contract until the end of the month. An exact diagnosis is still pending. The European runner-up will play for FC Bayern Munich in the new season.

Carried off the pitch in Poland

“Due to a painful blow to the left calf,” as the DFB announced, Oberdorf initially remained lying on the pitch in the 37th minute of her 50th international match and her first game as captain. Supported by two of her coaches, she limped off the pitch and the 22-year-old had to be carried into the dressing room shortly afterwards.

A few weeks before the Olympic Games, a longer absence of Oberdorf would have been very bitter for the German team. “Now we’ll see. I hope there’s nothing serious,” said national coach Hrubesch after the final whistle. It is clear that Oberdorf will miss the next qualifying match in Iceland on July 12th due to her second yellow card.

The European runner-up had received the warning for the very tackle that caused the calf problem. “Incomprehensible,” said Hrubesch about the yellow card, “you could see even from the bench that the Pole had really stepped on her foot.” Oberdorf traveled to the World Cup in Australia last year with a thigh injury and missed the first group match there.

Künzer criticizes and praises

Apart from the concerns about the midfielder, the match in Poland once again revealed starting difficulties and finishing weaknesses. Hrubesch was also annoyed by his team’s poor utilization of opportunities, and the collective sleepiness when Dominika Grabowska scored the 0-1 goal after twelve minutes: “We again helped with the goal we conceded at the beginning,” he complained. Goals from Lea Schüller (51st and 69th minutes) and Klara Bühl (77th) only brought about the turnaround after the break.

DFB sports director Nia Künzer combined her criticism with praise: “What we had planned, perhaps not to fall behind early, didn’t work. But it is really a quality that distinguishes the team, to keep coming back and not to give up.”

Especially since after four wins from four qualifying matches – including three wins after coming from behind – the ticket for the 2025 tournament in Switzerland has been booked. That is “really a success,” said Künzer: “Now it’s really about everyone being able to recover a bit.” With “a certain freshness of mind,” they want to go into the last European Championship qualifying phase, which can now be fully used as preparation for the Olympics.

European Championship qualification as Olympic test run

This includes the games on July 12th in Iceland and on July 16th in Hanover against Austria. For Hrubesch, the hot phase begins before the Olympics start on July 25th against World Cup fourth-place Australia. The other opponents in the preliminary round are record world champions USA (July 28th) and Zambia (July 31st). Since only two goalkeepers and 16 field players are allowed in the squad, there is a risk of hardship. “I’m only allowed to take 18 with me, that’s the big problem,” explained Hrubesch after the Poland game.

The goalkeeper position, among others, seems to be hotly contested. In addition to Merle Frohms – the regular number one – Ann-Katrin Berger and Stina Johannes are also hoping for an Olympic place. The latter celebrated her international debut against Poland, the Frankfurt player was powerless when the goal was conceded and was otherwise under-employed.

Hrubesch’s comment on Johannes: “I know that I have good goalkeepers.” And in general: “We go from game to game, the Olympics are still a bit further away.” Hrubesch recommends rest first: “The girls need to go on holiday now so they can put their feet up, go cycling or swimming or something else and also relax,” said the 73-year-old.

Source: Stern

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