After Germany's first UEFA Women's EURO loss in 17 years, coach Silvia Neid has demanded her players be more decisive in going for goal in Sunday's quarter-final with Italy.
"I got the feeling we wanted to walk the ball in," Neid said of her team's shock 1-0 defeat by Norway, whose victory in the final Group B fixture sent the holders back to the Växjö Arena, where they meet the Azzurre for a place in the last four.
Italy counterpart Antonio Cabrini insisted his side would not compromise on their style, but acknowledged the "great tradition" of his charges' opponents.
Antonio Cabrini, Italy coach
Certainly the team will be different to our last game. I'm used to resolving my own problems without looking at theirs. We certainly cannot base ourselves on our opponents because we'd be beaten before we start. We have a precise identity and we'll play the way we know how to play. If in the end they are better than us, I'll pay my compliments, but certainly until the very last minute has been played, none of us will feel beaten.
There were two reasons I made changes to my team to face Sweden. One, to give some girls a rest as it would have been three games in a week, but, above all, to give the chance to some of the girls who have played less to get the experience of playing in a EURO and show their qualities. We are not 11 first teamers and 11 reserves. Apart from the first ten minutes of the second half, above all the first half and the last 20 minutes, we did well and never had problems, so I'm happy with those who have played less.
There's not one German player to pick out in particular. Of course, the Germany side, given their results in previous tournaments, are a side to respect and they have a great tradition. We will face them trying to impose our own game, which can cause problems to anybody.
Exactly 31 years have passed [since Cabrini won the 1982 FIFA World Cup for Italy against West Germany], football was different then, so it has no relation to this game tomorrow. Games between Italy and Germany have always been very passionate affairs and there has always been a great deal of interest in them.
• After a goalless opening to Group A, Italy secured a crucial victory over Denmark with two goals in a five-minute second-half spell. Melania Gabbiadini, who struck first against Denmark, then came off the bench to score the Azzurre's only goal versus Sweden as Cabrini's squad claimed the runners-up spot behind the hosts.
• On a booking: Elisa Bartoli, Elisa Camporese, Raffaella Manieri, Giorgia Motta, Martina Rosucci, Alessia Tuttino
Cabrini confirmed Laura Neboli (ankle) and Camporese (hamstring) are available after recovering from injury.
Silvia Neid, Germany coach
We all know Italy are a technically strong team and that they like to pass the ball around, are very strong in the tackle and hard to play. They only need half a chance to score and it's going to be a real challenge, but we're glad to be here in the quarter-finals and have reached our first target.
Lena Goessling is training and has been running today and felt good. Then we went for a walk, so she's definitely available. Melanie Leupolz will not participate in shooting practice this evening, but that's purely precautionary as she felt a twinge in the groin yesterday. We just don't want to risk anything.
People should slowly stop talking about young and old. This is our team with players who have been here longer and not so long, but overall we have a team which has a good blend.
We struggled going forward because we didn’t really get into the game due to the mistakes we made – we couldn't get any flow going. We didn't always look to shoot when it made sense. I got the feeling we wanted to walk the ball in, but that's not always necessary, we need to shoot too. We certainly did well against Norway, creating seven or eight really good chances, but we need the same against Italy, maybe not so much but at least half as many, and then not conceding would be perfect.
• Held by a compact Dutch side in their Group B opener, Germany then looked to have clicked into gear as they dismantled Iceland in Vaxjo. However, Neid's team slipped to their first UEFA Women's EURO loss since May 1996 as they were beaten by Norway to finish section runners-up to their final group stage opponents.
• On a booking: Nadine Kessler, Leonie Maier
Neid confirmed Lena Goessling (fever) will be fit to play. Suspended for the encounter with Norway after receiving a yellow card in the first two group games, Jennifer Cramer is available.
Germany are undefeated in the four UEFA Women's EURO qualifiers in which the nations have met (two wins, two draws), and have also yet to taste defeat in the countries' six encounters in continental final tournaments (three wins, three draws).
Did you know?
Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer is expected to win her 122nd cap on Sunday, but she could have been playing for Italy as her father, Norbert, was born there and she still has family living in the country.
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