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Neid lauds home support as Germany down Sweden

Published: Thursday 27 October 2011, 9.45CET
"The crowd really helped us today," said Germany coach Silvia Neid after her side's 1-0 friendly victory against Sweden at FC St Pauli's Millerntor-Stadion on Wednesday night.
by Sujay Dutt
Neid lauds home support as Germany down Sweden
Alexandra Popp scored on the hour to give Germany victory against Sweden ©Getty Images
 

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Published: Thursday 27 October 2011, 9.45CET

Neid lauds home support as Germany down Sweden

"The crowd really helped us today," said Germany coach Silvia Neid after her side's 1-0 friendly victory against Sweden at FC St Pauli's Millerntor-Stadion on Wednesday night.

Germany coach Silvia Neid thanked the "fantastic" home support in Hamburg after substitute Alexandra Popp headed the only goal in Wednesday night's 1-0 friendly victory over Sweden.

In a match of scant opportunities, Popp, who came on at the start of the second half, broke the deadlock on the hour to earn the hosts a morale-boosting win against the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 hosts at FC St Pauli's Millerntor-Stadion.

There had been little between the sides in a low-key first half, although Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl did well to keep out a shot from Simone Laudehr while opposite number Nadine Angerer was quick to react to a Lotta Schelin effort.

Popp made the difference after the interval, pouncing on a header that rebounded off the post to give her team a slender advantage. Sweden, 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finalists, might have equalised shortly afterwards when Schelin rounded Angerer, yet the Olympique Lyonnais striker hit the crossbar.

"The crowd really helped us today," said Neid. "In the first half nothing went as planned. We made a lot of simple errors and poor passes, but our fans urged us on. They were fantastic. Our attacking play was given a big lift when Alex Popp came on. After her goal we improved hugely and played in a much more relaxed way. But we have a lot of work to do, especially with our passing, which was very poor tonight."

Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby also highlighted areas for improvement but took comfort from a closely contested affair. "It was very evenly balanced," he said. "It could have been 1-0 to either side. Apart from the result, I'm pretty happy with how we handled the match; we managed to control the tempo and the game for periods. We have to be more efficient in our finishing, though, and improve our defending at set pieces."

Germany, who have won both their Group 2 qualifiers so far, resume their campaign against Kazakhstan in Wiesbaden on 19 November before a crucial trip to Spain five days later.

Last updated: 27/10/11 10.38CET

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