Welcome to Ottawa for Game 4 of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup! Our team will bring you live commentary of the second of two games today in Group B, as the world’s top-ranked nation and tournament favourites Germany take on the unfancied and underrated Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory coast) at the Lansdowne Stadium.
Our live coverage begins at 4pm Eastern/9pm GMT/6am AEST.
Whew. We all need a breather after that. I’ll be back later with a recap of both games in Group B, but for now it’s goodbye. Huge thanks to everybody for bearing with us throughout our technical difficulties and for switching to our Twitter feed when our website went down for a short period mid-match.
That concludes our live coverage of today’s games. Our next live commentary will be midweek as the French open their campaign against England in Group F. Kickoff times across the world as follows:
- Eastern: 09 June, 1:00pm
- GMT: 09 June, 6:00pm
- AEST: 10 June, 3:00am
Five goals in the first half. Five goals in the second half. Could and probably should have been more in both. It’s been a rough debut for the Ivorians in their first-ever World Cup match.
Indeed, the Germans have inflicted upon the Ivory Coast their worst-ever defeat in women’s football, and the Africans can count themselves lucky that they didn’t lose by an even greater margin. Today was a demonstration of the quality differential between the European champions and the world’s minnows, and it was a harsh but necessary lesson in World Cup football for the African debutants.
I said before the game that I was betting on a 2-0 victory. I also said Norway had put pressure on the Germans to improve upon the Norwegians’ goal difference after their 4-0 win earlier today. Well, it was 2-0 inside 13 minutes, and for the Ivorians it only got worse from there.
Whilst there were short periods where the Ivory Coast put pressure on the German defence, the minnows failed to mount a sustained attack, and the little progress they made up front was completely outdone by a combination of naivety and incompetence in defence.
Yes, the Germans were excellent and created some excellent moves, but for the most part the Ivorians’ defending was shambolic to the point of farce. Their only shining light in defence was their keeper Thiamale, who battled through injury to keep her side from conceding twice as many as they eventually did. Otherwise it was an appalling display in defence, and it’s something that the Africans will need to work upon if they are to qualify from the group.
The sense you got was that the Germans didn’t even get out of second gear, and it’s an ominous sign ahead of their remaining group games against Norway and Thailand.
Germany 10 – 0 Ivory Coast (Sasic 3′, 15′, 31′; Mittag 29′, 35′, 64′; Laudehr 71′; Daebritz 75′; Behringer 79′; Popp 85′)
Hat-tricks for Sasic and Mittag. Goals from all over the pitch. Ominous.
The defending from the Ivorians has been atrocious at times, and this is no exception as the ball comes in from the left, and the defence disappears even as two Germans run onside. Neither can make contact as Thiamale spills the ball and gathers at the second attempt, but there are bodies running everywhere as the keeper then stuffs up the throw and gives possession right back to the Germans, who promptly pump another cross in for Popp. It almost looks like a penalty as Popp is bundled over in the box, but nothing is given and the ball is cleared in what should be the final passage of play.
Three added minutes, but you might want to add a fourth just in case, given the last goal and the fact that Diakite went down with an injury for a short period.
GOAL (Popp 85′)
Alexandra Popp has fluffed about twenty chances today, but she finally nails it from the free-kick as she powers a left-footed effort past the wall and into the bottom corner.
I’d say she curled it around the wall, but the wall was in entirely the wrong place and there was absolutely nothing in her way, so in effect she just passed it into a massive gap. What a gift that was.
Five minutes to go – can the Germans score again and equal their record for their biggest-ever victory?
Germany 10 – 0 Ivory Coast
So, three goals in eight minutes have given the Germans a record victory over the Ivorians, who have been torn to shreds from the very opening minutes. Worst part for the Africans is, there’s still 10 minutes remaining and the Germans have a free-kick on the edge of the box…
The Ivory Coast go within inches of scoring, but they can’t capitalise on Angerer’s mistake and the ball somehow loops over the crossbar.
Still, 9-1 isn’t much of an improvement on 9-0.
GOAL (Behringer 79′)
The floodgates are open once more, as the Ivorians fail to clear a corner and the ball drops straight at the feet of Behringer on the edge of the six yard box. She has all the time in the world to line it up, and she takes full advantage as she cracks a powerful volley from point-blank range. Great strike.
Record broken – this is now the worst defeat ever inflicted upon the Ivory Coast.
Germany 9 – 0 Ivory Coast
GOAL (Daebritz 75′)
Clever work from Popp as she jinks and twists and turns and beats three defenders with a brilliant little flick that releases Petermann into the box. The youngster, who came onto the field just seconds ago, plays an excellent square pass that flies across the face of goal and sits on a platter for Daebritz, who replaced Sasic at the half-time interval. It’s another simple tap-in, and Daebritz makes no mistake as she gets on the scoresheet after an indifferent 30 mins on the field.
My word, Germans do make it look easy, don’t they?
Germany 8 – 0 Ivory Coast
GOAL (Laudehr 71′)
And right as I say that, Germany go and get another one! This time it’s Simone Laudehr, and it’s a just reward for an excellent personal performance by the full-back, who races forward onto a through-ball, takes two touches, cuts inside and curls the finish inside the far-post. Sumptuous goal.
Laudehr is then replaced by Lena Petermann.
Germany 7 – 0 Ivory Coast
The game just fizzling out in Ottawa, but there are still some… physical… challenges going in as Coulibaly finally goes into the book for a foul on Popp.
GOAL (Mittag hat-trick 64′)
Oh and just as I say that, Mittag goes and scores her third. It’s another shocking mistake by the Ivorian defence too, the Africans giving away possession in their own half and playing Mittag through on goal from 25 yards. She’s missed a few sitters today, but there’s no way she was going to stuff up this one-on-one, and she buries the ball past Thiamale for her hat-trick and Germany’s sixth.
Germany 6 – 0 Ivory Coast
Before half-time it was looking like the Ivorians’ record defeat (an 8-1 reverse against China in 1988) might be usurped by the Germans today. But since the break it’s been much quieter and the Germans in all honesty haven’t really looked like scoring so far this half.
A very forceful barge by Coulibaly stops dead a promising German attack in midfield. Like running into a brick wall, that.
No booking, and the free-kick is lifted over the head of the lurking Popp and out for a goalkick. The cynic in me suspects that was a calculated gamble and the perfect result for the Ivorians.
Sophie Aguie gets booked for a foul on Mittag. Probably deserved that clip, did Mittag, for her s**thouse finishing.
CLOSE! HOW HAS SHE NOT SCORED THAT?!
Laudehr does brilliantly to get onto a pass down the right wing, and the fullback takes it to the byline before cutting it back to the unmarked Mittag, who is faced with an open goal directly in front just six yards out. It is easier to score – in fact, any clean contact and it’s in – but somehow Mittag conspires to shank it miles wide of the far-post and the chance goes begging.
It is not an exaggeration to say she could have scored seven by now.
As is usually the case, the second half is being played at a much lower tempo by both sides.
Ivory Coast think they’ve got a goal after Angerer spills the ball, but it’s correctly ruled out for an infringement after the keeper was fouled collecting the ball during an aerial challenge.
Corner for Germany as Mittag goes on the attack again. It’s played in at the near-post but after some aerial ping-pong it’s coolly collected by the unflappable Thiamale. No signs of her being affected by the injury she picked up late in that first half.
Change for the Ivorians as Essoh is replaced by Nrehy.
Mislaid pass from Mittag as she send a long-pass to nobody and nowhere in particular, gifting possession back to the Ivorians who promptly attack but, much like in the first-half, cannot fashion a chance from their decent field position.
The players are back out in the Ottawa sunshine and we’re underway in the second-half.
Celia Sasic gets a well-earned rest, subbed during the break after scoring a hat-trick in the opening 45 minutes.
Domination is an understatement. Germany proved in those 45 minutes why they’re the world’s best against an admittedly shambolic defensive display from the Ivorians, scything through the Africans’ back four like the proverbial hot knife through butter. Indeed, the Germans broke with alarming regularity, and but for some great goalkeeping and wasteful finishing the scoreline would be even bigger.
That’s not to say, though, that the Ivory Coast have been poor. In fact, they have shown desire and endeavour across most of the pitch, and for a 15 minute spell caused problems for the German defence – so much so that on one occasion Angerer had to emulate men’s national keeper Manuel Neuer and act as a sweeper-keeper.
However, the Ivorians lacked both a killer instinct and the final ball, and in an end-to-end contest the Germans eventually made them pay, finally converting one of more than a dozen chances as Mittag made it 3-0 on the half-hour. From there the floodgates opened in a devastating spell of attacking football, as the European champions finally made their dominance count.
Sasic completed her hat-trick and Mittag claimed a brace as the Germans scored three goals in six minutes. Most teams would have struggled in the face of such an onslaught, the Germans unplayable as they were denied a sixth and seventh only by the miraculous reflexes and sheer bravery of Ivorian keeper Thiamale.
Germany 5 – 0 Ivory Coast (Sasic 3′, 13′, 31′; Mittag 29′, 35′)
Essoh looks lively for the Ivory Coast and is the main focal point of their attacking play – but she can’t work alone and so the German defence is handling her attacks with ease.
Approaching half-time and the Ivorians will be glad to go in just 5 goals down. They need the break to regroup.
Thiamale is running a one-woman defence today, and she goes down yet again after flying into another challenge in an effort to deny the rampant Germans their sixth goal of the half. The pain has become too much following her miracle save to deny Sasic about 10 minutes ago – even on slow-motion it looks impossible. That block was part luck, part skill – it truly has to be seen to be believed.
She gets some of the magic tape and magic spray, and she continues on. Respect.
…and Behringer – who replaced Leupolz because of injury after just 17 minutes – takes the free-kick, which deflects inches wide of the post and out for a corner.
Nothing comes of the corner, though, and although the Germans probe Thiamale is able to collect and regain possession for the shellshocked Ivorians.
Thiamale gets a yellow for bringing down Sasic on the edge of the box after the striker ran clear on goal from 25 yards, but to me it looks like Sasic dived there. If it’s a foul, it should technically be red as well.
Free-kick for Germany on the edge of the box, dead in front. Wall has about 20 players in it…
Just prior to that substitution, Thiamale produced a miracle save to deny the Germans a sixth goal following yet another incisive attack, before Kemme completely fluffed her lines and miskicked in front of an open goal. Should have been a sixth there.
Tactical change for the Ivory Coast as Nina Kpaho is replaced by Fernande Tchetche.
GOAL (Mittag 35′)
Two for Mittag as the Germans run riot in Ottawa. Floodgates have well and truly opened after a dozen missed opportunities between Sasic’s second goal and Mittag’s first.
Cote d’Ivoire’s record loss remains an 8-1 defeat against China 27 years ago. That record is now odds-on to be broken today.
Germany 5 – 0 Ivory Coast
Thiamale rescues her side yet again as the Ivory Coast defence parts like the Red Sea. Appalling defending but what a brilliant save from the keeper to block a free header from point-blank range.
GOAL (Sasic hat-trick 31′)
Four for Germany, and a hat-trick for the star striker Celia Sasic, who is once again presented the simplest of tap-ins after some excellent work down the right channel.
Germany 4 – 0 Ivory Coast
GOAL (Mittag 29′)
Easy as you please for the veteran, as Mittag is played in through the middle and finishes easily past a despairing Thiamale. Germany have made mincemeat of the Ivory Coast defence in the opening half-hour.
Germany 3 – 0 Ivory Coast
…and we’re back. I thought the technical problems were behind us, but clearly the gremlins returned for those 25 minutes.
It’s been an eventful 25 mins as well…
GOAL! (Sasic 3′)
It didn’t take long for Sasic to make her mark! Germany have started on the attack and they get immediate results as fullback Maier gets past her marker on the overlap and produces an inch-perfect cross from the right for Sasic, who is left with an all-but-open goal and converts the easiest of finishes to give Germany the early lead.
Germany 1 – 0 Ivory Coast
Canadian referee Carol Ann Chenard blows her whistle and gets us underway in Ottawa.
So, anybody betting against anything other than a comfortable German victory? I’d expect at least a 2-0 scoreline to the current European champions.
The jaunty Ivory Coast anthem finishes what the regal Deutschlandlied started, and with the anthems over play is almost ready to begin in this Group B encounter.
Lowly-ranked they may be, but the Ivory Coast have the potential to cause problems for the Group B favourites Germany and Norway. Although they had an indifferent record during qualification, the world’s 67th-ranked side have in their squad a number of players who currently ply their trade in the European leagues, and whilst many view the Africans as simply making up the numbers at this World Cup, it is certainly possible that they will perform better than expected against the top nations.
So how do these teams stack up?
They are the current world champions in men’s football, and in a month’s time, it is highly likely they will also be world champions in women’s football. Like their male counterparts, Germany’s women are currently ranked the world’s best side, and they will fancy their chances of winning this tournament four years after the upset loss in the knockout stages on home soil against eventual winners Japan.
Although they struggled to beat Norway in the final of Euro 2013 (winning courtesy of some incredible goalkeeping), the Germans enter the World Cup in peak condition, having won all 10 games during qualification and scoring a staggering 62 goals in the process. They also beat England at Wembley last year, before dominating the Brazilians on two occasions earlier this year.
In fact, the Germans have not lost a qualification match since 1998, and with superstar strikers Celia Sasic and Alexandra Popp up front, and the technically-brilliant Janos Marozsan working her magic in midfield, it is hard to bet against the 2007 champions winning their second World Cup in three tournaments. Still, it remains to be seen if/how the absences of Fatmire Alushi (pregnancy) and Nadine Kessler (injured) will affect the side.
Germany are ranked #1 in the world for both men’s and women’s football, and the latter will be hoping to emulate their male counterparts by claiming the World Cup. If they do, it will be their third trophy.
Germany have also won the last six European tournaments.
Needless to say, the 67th-ranked Ivory Coast haven’t quite achieved the same level of success. In fact, this is their first-ever World Cup appearance, and slightly ominous is the fact they’ve only played once this year.
Cote d’Ivoire lineup:
- 16 Thiamale
- 22 Kacou
- 21 Aguie
- 02 Coulibaly
- 04 Kpaho
- 06 Akaffou
- 12 Guehai
- 14 Nahi
- 07 Essoh
- 11 Elloh
- 18 Diakite
One of the players to watch this tournament is Germany’s Celia Sasic, and the star striker starts today.
- 01 Angerer
- 04 Maier
- 05 Krahn
- 03 Bartusiak
- 22 Kemme
- 20 Goeßling
- 16 Leupolz
- 06 Laudehr
- 11 Mittag
- 18 Popp
- 13 Sasic
Germany are pre-tournament favourites, and will be looking for a strong result against Ivory Coast following Norway’s 4-0 thrashing of Thailand earlier today.
Ivory Coast will fancy their chances of claiming third spot, and a possible place in the Round of 16 should their performances be of sufficient standard.
Good afternoon to the Americas, good evening Europe and Africa, and good morning to readers across Australia and Asia – welcome to our live coverage of Game 4 of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as the world’s number one ranked side Germany takes on the Ivory Coast for Group B supremacy.
I’m Shaan Sewak and on behalf of the entire team I’ll be taking you through this Group B clash in Ottawa.