USA – Germany 2:0 (0:0)

Official match website:

Indepth tactical analysis in german:

Match preview:

Sometimes football is simple: The better players won

If two sides are meeting who – similar to the France-Germany game – do not build a team that is better than its 11 individual parts – then often the 11 better parts will win. Sometimes it is as easy as that.
There is little doubt with those who know a little bit about their international women football that Sauerbrunn / Johnston are the far better players than Krahn / Bartusiak. There is little doubt with those who know a little bit about their international women football that Morgan is a far better player than Sasic.
And who didnt already know that could have a good look at it here.
Interestingly even some so called “pundits” sometimes let themselves fool by goal scoring statistics. Sasic and Mittag both scored a hattrick against no defense where a decent forward should have scored 5 in the place of Sasic. And she had a rebound from the post tap in from 5 meters and two penalty kicks to even give her the golden boot of a WWC where more in-form players of the Bundesliga might have been the better alternative for Silvia Neids side.
And with the rest of the both sides on average seemed roughly evenly matched, those players made the huge difference. Morgan superior in speed and technical abilities was a constant threat and never to be stopped by the German center backs. The German offense line of Sasic up front, then Laudehr – Mittag – Popp not with enough speed nor technical abilities to beat Sauerbrunn and Johnston and never able to get past the US back line – if it would not have been for a poor error from Johnston that provided Germany the golden opportunity to again punish their opposition for not converting their chances.
But this time fate decided to even out the Germans luck in their penalties against Sweden and France – with not much of a delay. Johnston was left on the field instead of possibly red carded and they saw a penalty given against them only a few minutes later on the other side for Morgans clever move. If fate is reacting so quickly in these world championships there might be another twist on the agenda for the US team in the finals however.
The fact that the players in midfield more or less cancelled each other out was something that always favored the US to win because it was clear before the start of the game that Germany had to be the better side on this part of the pitch if they wanted to have a decent chance to win to make up for the US advantage in center backs and forwards. However Germany looked the better side after half time because they started to gain control over this area and forced the US back just before the two penalties wrote their very own story of the game and Germany with the task to chase for the equaliser.
But with none of their attacking players being able to create hardly any play to threaten the US apart from two half chances there was no way. This was mainly due to an improved holding play in midfield where Brian always was the type of player with terrific positioning and “reading” skills the US team needed and thus a very important player for their midfield (maybe more than Holiday and Lloyd who despite being slightly stronger in duels, are too similar and one is still dispensable) to give their back line the additional protection they needed. Luckily they seem to have realized what younger top players Johnston and Brian add to their side in comparison to players who have more experience but weaken them in regards to movement and team play. And many might think the reason for this undue delay showed some deficit in team management. However it was good enough to regain strength just in time to overcome one big obstacle. But as the Germans can tell in 50:50 games it gets even more tricky if it is necessary to overcome 2 obstacles en route.
Because the US will face better back lines where only one lonely Morgan up front might be not enough but a second well moving forward needed to support her instead of the overcrowded center midfield. Even Germany will quite rapidly realize their problem areas to come back stronger next year. And then maybe a little bit more of wing play will be needed not to ride their luck like they did in this game. Because it would have only Sasic needed to convert the penalty which she usually does to send the US home.
But now there is a big final awaiting where only Japan might be not so easy to break down. But for sure await who ever will be met there to defend Morgan better.

Player of the match: Morgan
Clearly made the difference in this match. Surely on behalf of a never present Bartusiak and a heavy-legged Krahn.

Player Ratings USA (0-10)

Solo –
Not enough to do to be rated.

Krieger 6.5
Might have looked easier than expected but won her side. More of support for the offense would be nice

Sauerbrunn 8
Easier than expected but nevertheless flawless.

Johnston 6.5
If only the penalty would not have happened.

Klingenberg 6.5
Might have looked easier than expected but won her side. More of support for the offense would be nice

Brian 7.5
Was always there where she needed to be and knows where the ball should go.

Holiday 7
Did also well in holding midfield.

Heath 6.5
Not too much created offensively like Rapinoe but a solid support defensively.

Lloyd 7
Not too much created but the 2:0. But always a strong front fighter with high work rate.

Rapinoe 6.5
Not the factor for the game we used to see. But stopped Maier going forward.

Morgan 8.5
Constantly threatening the German defense. Only the conversion rate to improve.

Player Ratings Germany (0-10)

Angerer 7
Again showed her ability to focus and come up big at the big moments.

Maier 7.5
Not much problems on her side in the back. Winner against Rapinoe.

Krahn 5
Look France. She simply lacks mobility when playing the best top players who ask her for that

Bartusiak 6
Didnt look as vulnerable as Krahn or was it only because she was never there?

Kemme 7.5
Wasnt asked too much questions by Heath but mastered her wing and did more offensively than the US full backs.

Goessling 7
Did ok defensively with holding midfield the only area Germany won.

Leupolz 6.5
Lots of room for improvement in individual tactics. But holding midfield tasks well properly executed.

Maroszan –
She was not brought in at half time like usual so expect her having been not 100% fit.

Laudehr 6
Hardly ever could beat Klingenberg and didnt create enough of note though at least a good cross.

Mittag 5.5
Is the clever finisher when launched by her team but no factor when this does hardly happen.

Popp 6
Never could beat Krieger but at least supported the midfield elsewhere.

Sasic 4.5
Of all offensive players the most dreadful who even missed lots of quite simple looking passes.

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