Canada beats Germany 2-1 to win Group F

Canada beats Germany 2-1 to win Group F

FBL-OLY-2016-RIO-GER-CAN

In Matchday 3 action from Group F, Canada beat Germany 2-1 at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia on Tuesday afternoon.

Germany would have the first half-chance of the match in the 3rd minute when forward Mandy Islacker received a headed pass over the Canadian defense in the penalty area and then struck a left-footed volley that flashed across the Canadian goal.

The Germans controlled most of the match in the opening minutes and got on the board first in the 13th minute thanks to a penalty kick by midfielder Melanie Behringer. The kick was awarded when Canadian defender Allysha Chapman got beat to a 50/50 ball by Islacker, who was then tripped by Chapman a yard inside the penalty area.  Behringer stepped up and calmly deposited the ball to the right of Canadian goalie Stephanie Labbe for the early 1-0 lead.

The Europeans would almost double their lead in the 20th minute when defender Tabea Kemme ventured forward down the left side and whipped in a cross that forward Dzsenifer Marozsan redirected just wide of the goal.

Against the run of play, Canada would find the equalizer in the 25th minute when Germany cheaply gave away possession in its defensive third. Midfielder Desiree Scott intercepted a weak pass which ultimately trickled forward to the feet of forward Melissa Tancredi. Tancredi gathered possession, dribbled forward towards the left-side of the penalty area and fired a low, hard shot passed German goalie Almuth Schult to knot the score at 1-1.

Throughout the remainder of the first half, the two-time World Cup champions had the lion’s share of possession and pushed the play in Canada’s end, but didn’t create any more clear-cut scoring chances. The speed of play and movement in the final third was too slow from the Germans, making it relatively easy for Canada to shift and defend in blocks. At halftime, the game was tied 1-1.

The second half began just as the first half ended: with Germany dominating possession but unable to penetrate the Canadian defense. Yet, it was the North American side that would take a surprising 2-1 lead in the 60th minute. From just inside the German half, midfielder Rebecca Quinn served a long curling free kick into the penalty area that Tancredi headed past Schult for her second goal of the match.

Following the goal, realizing that Australia was routing Zimbabwe in the other group match and that the Aussies could potentially surpass them on goal differential, the Germans stepped on the gas. By sending more numbers forward and pressing Canada higher up the field, Germany looked threatening to snatch a tying goal.

In the last minute of the match, Forward Alexandra Popp rose up on a corner kick and blasted a header towards goal but it was cleared off the line by a Canadian defender. Despite numerous attacking waves, the Germans couldn’t draw level and the match ended 2-1 in favor of Canada.

With the 2-1 victory, Canada wins Group F. Germany advances in second place with Australia beating Zimbabwe 6-1 in the other match. Matchups for Canada and Germany in the knockout round are yet to be determined with other group matches still to be played later on today.

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