After winning all of their Group B matches, Germany will be looking to continue their hot streak in the 2019 Women’s World Cup on Saturday as they face off against Nigeria, as reported by Bleacher Report. Despite being in one of the toughest groups of the tournament, the German women emerged without conceding a single goal in their victories over China, Spain, and South Africa. While the Germans struggled for goals in their first two matches, manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg will be hoping that those issues were solved in their 4-0 thrashing of South Africa. With Nigeria only making it into the knockout stages due to third place standings, Germany will likely look to attack with their superior squad.
While their results couldn’t compare to Germany’s, Nigeria has shown that it has the ability to compete with the top teams. In their Group A matches, they defeated a South Korean team that made it to the Round of 16 in 2015 2-0 while holding France scoreless until they conceded a late penalty in the 79th minute. They will be hoping that the German team they come up against is closer to the one that faced China and Spain, but even in those below-par showings, the Germans exhibited one of the finest defenses of the tournament. While Nigeria’s strength is in their attack, it’s hard to say with conviction that it is more dangerous than the one possessed by Germany’s group B rivals.
Nigeria is a better team than South Africa and is higher in the FIFA world rankings, but there is no doubt that they will be disheartened to see what the Germans did to their African compatriots. The German attack morphed from a tedious setup unable to completely break down teams to a beautiful flowing side that was able to score with ease, scoring three goals after only 40 minutes. With the top spot in Group B secured, Germany slowed down after scoring their fourth just before the hour mark but could have recorded a historic scoreline if they had pressed on. With Sara Dabritz and her constant scoring threat in attack, the Germans look to have gelled into a complete team at the perfect time.
While Nigeria will have their work cut out for them, it is unlikely to be as stressful of an occasion as the one they faced after their defeat against France. The Nigerian women were on the brink of elimination as they watched Chile and Thailand face off, with the Chilean women needing a 3-0 victory to qualify and eliminate Nigeria. It looked like they would achieve that exact result when Francisca Lira lined up to take a penalty in the 86th minute. However, she hit the bar and now it is Nigeria in their place.
Against a German team in full flow, however, the Nigerians won’t have any way to sneak through and will have to put on a performance they have yet to display if they hope to make it through.
Date: Saturday, June 22
Time: 4:30 p.m. (BST), 11:30 a.m. (ET)
TV Info: BBC Two (UK), Fox Sports 1 (U.S.)