Germans Win First World Cup

As told by the Associated Press:

CARSON, Calif. — Germany won the Women’s World Cup 2-1 over Sweden on Nia Kuenzer’s header in the eighth minute of overtime Sunday.

A substitute who came on 10 minutes earlier, Kuenzer soared high to deflect Renate Lingor’s long free kick over the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Caroline Joensson, who was brilliant all day.

The German players mobbed her and rolled together on the ground, while Sweden’s beaten players were motionless and stunned. Much of the crowd, which was decidedly pro-Sweden, cheered the Swedes even as the entire German team stood on a podium, jumping up and down as they received their championship medals.

Germany’s first women’s world title came in the same fashion as it beat Sweden in the 2001 European Championship final – on an overtime goal. …

After a somewhat listless first half, the Germans came out strong and scored just a minute into the second period. Birgit Prinz, voted the tournament’s outstanding player, sent a pass to the right wing to Maren Meinert, who had three steps on the defense. Her right-footed shot from 15 yards glanced off Joensson and into the net. …

Sweden’s first-half goal was well-earned. Not backing down against Germany’s powerful attack that outscored opponents 22-3 en route to the final, the Swedes pressed forward with a varied offense. Several long passes soared beyond the German defense, only to see the Swedes fail to finish.

Still, they were finding openings, and they pounced in the 41st minute.

Victoria Svensson, Sweden’s most creative player in the tournament, sent a brilliant through pass to Ljungberg on the left wing. Ljungberg had enough time to change from her left foot to her right and slide a shot into the far corner of the net past the onrushing Rottenberg.

Germany came close twice in the opening half. Prinz, the World Cup’s leading scorer, went just wide with a short-range shot in the 31st, about five minutes after her sliding attempt barely missed the goal.

In overtime, the Germans dominated, forcing several corner kicks. Joensson punched out one corner as Sweden played tentatively. She also made a gorgeous kick save on Martina Mueller, but Kuenzer’s first goal of the tournament won it seconds later.

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Oh yeah, the German men won this weekend, too.

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, Culture and tagged , , , , by Doug Merrill. Bookmark the permalink.

About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.