By MELTON PAIS
DEFENDING champions Germany powered their way to a 3-0 win over Mexico in their group D fixture at the National Football Stadium yesterday — all but securing them a quarter-final berth.
With a game left in the group stage, only undefeated sides Germany and North Korea (group A) have confirmed their quarter-final spots.
German coach Maren Meinert commended her team for another solid victory — they beat Venezuela 3-1 in first match on Monday.
“It was a great game by my team because we’ve played two very good teams so far and beaten them well,” Meinert said.
“We played really well as a team and I think the display of skills by us was good.
“But I have to say that Mexico have some really good individual players who threw us a tough challenge especially in the first half.
“They (Mexico) really played well.”
Meinert said she was satisfied with the performance but added that she would not let her side rest on their laurels because they wanted to continue improving and building momentum.
The Germans are expected to top the group with a game against South Korea on Monday left to complete the first stage of the tournament.
They lead group D with six points.
After a taut 0-0 score at halftime, the match came alive in the second-half with Stefanie Sanders scoring a brace and teammate Saskia Matheis adding a third goal after the Germans controlled the ball and camped in the Mexican territory for most of the half.
The Mexican’s vaunted defensive game came undone as fatigue and a lack of possession kept them on the backfoot for most of the second 45 minutes.
German goalkeeper Carina Schlueter was impressive in her calm and cool approach as she saved several half chances while mustering her side’s defence.
Mexico’s attacking midfielder Maria Sanchez snapped several shots from good range but Schlueter proved equal to the challenge. The second-half epitomised German efficiency with their ability to absorb, regroup and relaunch, keeping the Mexicans at bay throughout.
Germany’s best were defender Anna Gerhardt, Sanders, Matheis and captain Rebecca Knaak, who was named the player of the match.
Germany will take on South Korea while Mexico face Venezuela in their last group matches on Monday.
By MELTON PAIS