Germany overpower Icelandic hosts to state intent
Monday, June 22, 2015
Iceland 0-5 Germany
The holders made light work of the home nation in Grindavik, registering a comfortable victory to underline their title credentials.
Article top media content
• Fifth-minute Victoria Krug goal sets holders on way
• Iceland battle bravely but Stefanie Sanders nets either side of half-time
• Jule Dallmann and Dina Orschmann wrap up win from distance
• Germany v Spain and Iceland v England on Thursday
Germany kicked off their UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship title defence with a resounding Group A victory over Iceland in front of 707 spectators in Grindavik.
The holders quickly stated their intent with two first-half strikes and proceeded to rack up a 5-0 success at the host nation's expense, Victoria Krug, Stefanie Sanders with a brace, Jule Dallmann and Dina Orschmann the scorers.
While Germany had found their range by plundering 16 goals in three elite round qualifiers, Úlfar Hinriksson's team had been restricted to WU17 friendly matches this season against Finland and the Republic of Ireland – all lost. Not surprisingly Germany began better, and after the Icelanders failed to heed the warning of Anna Gerhardt's dangerous cross, Krug punished them by turning in Isabella Möller's corner. Krug nearly had a second too, heading over the bar.
For all the promise shown by Andrea Celeste Thorisson in the Icelandic midfield, the more pertinent question was always going to be how to stop the four-time champions – appearing in their seventh (out of eight) final tournament. Stefanie Sanders made things no clearer by racing through to slot the second for Anouschka Bernhard's side close to half-time, then repeated the trick just after it.
Iceland had crashed 8-2 to the Germans in the third-place game in 2011. Goalkeeper Ingibjörg Valgeirsdóttir prevented similar damage this time until late long-range efforts from substitutes Dallmann and Orschmann – the latter within 30 seconds of her introduction. A salutary lesson for the home team.
Úlfar Hinriksson, Iceland
It's always difficult when you lose 5-0. Yes, we were happy with most parts of the first half but we conceded an early goal from a set piece, which was bad, though we contained them well. Then the second goal was also too easy and preventable, and we were not happy with our attacking play either – we weren't able to make the second and third pass to get really open chances. We wanted to do better second half but we got opened up after a few minutes. But we played higher up the pitch, had more of the ball in better positions, yet we were still unable – even if the first and second pass were okay – to find solutions, with our third, fourth or fifth ball, in the final quarter of the pitch. The goals when they came were so easy and maybe that came down to fitness levels, as there was a difference there. When you're tired you make mistakes, you don't close down, and that's what happened with a couple of the goals. What also may have had an effect was us having a bit too much respect for Germany. It may have taken too long for us to realise they are normal football girls just like us.
Anouschka Bernhard, Germany
We wanted to start with a victory and we started with a 5-0, so our standards were really good, close to perfect. It was hard because Iceland played well and were defensively well organised. There wasn't a lot of space for us so we had to work hard to create chances. But it was the right result as we were the better team and we're glad about this match. The substitutions showed the main difference between our team and some of the other teams, because the quality of our bench is really good and if we have to make a change we are bringing quality on and our game is becoming better at that moment. It doesn't matter who the substitute is, they will get immediately into the game and bring us a step forward. We scored five times but we didn't do everything well so we have to talk about some things in our preparations. We can do things a little bit better – sometimes in defence we have to play better in one-v-one situations – but we've won the first game at a European final tournament so for today, for tonight, it's okay.