Meinert hints at need for German finishing school
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Germany coach Maren Meinert was "satisfied" by her side's last-gasp 2-1 win against the Netherlands but believes they still need to improve their conversion rate if they are to progress.
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Althought "satisfied" Germany managed to maintain their perfect record at the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, coach Maren Meinert believes there is plenty of room for improvement for her side, especially recognising the "importance of taking their chances".
Maren Meinert, Germany coach
Compared to the last game I think we played much better. In the first half I think we played very well but we couldn't finish which has been one of our problems, but in the second half I think we had a bit of luck to score that early after we brought on Lena Lotzen. That was important for us and I think we deserved the win because we had 30-odd shots and I think we dominated the game. It was a good win for us.
Kathrin-Julia Hendrich had trouble with her knee so we took her off [at half-time] and put [Isabella] Schmid in midfield; I think she did well. We had the ball for almost the whole time and the conditions were not the best. It's a good experience for us because at first we couldn't score. In international matches it's important that you take your chances. When we conceded the goal it was typical of our game – we can't score and then we go and concede – but it is good for the team that they know they can come back after going 1-0 down.
I know Switzerland are a good team and they deserve to be in the semi-finals. I'm looking forward to it but I know it won't be an easy game.
Johan van Heertum, Netherlands coach
They tried to keep us pressed in our own half but we didn't leave them many chances like we did in the first two matches. I think we succeeded but we created nothing, only one chance with Shanice [van de Sanden] when five metres out. I think it was important not to concede early on; that was the most important thing for us.
Our midfielders weren't able to get the ball up to the strikers, to Lieke Martens or the wingers. It's difficult with the kind of pressing they applied to our midfielders from both sides – defence and attack. In the second half we were more aggressive in midfield and there was more movement; we created four or five good chances. After we scored, there were opportunities to make it 2-0 and 3-0 but that's football. It is sad again that we lost, to a 91st-minute goal. It was not good but the feeling is a lot different to the previous two matches.
I think it's important for the players' development because they are not subjected to that much pressing in their domestic leagues. You must make faster runs and better movement without the ball. We tried to create those situations in training and I think we did it better game by game. Of course we wanted to qualify for the [FIFA U-20 Women's] World Cup but in a group like this we always knew it would be very difficult.