By ISAAC LIRI
THE Under-20 Women’s World Cup defending champions Germany broke the hearts of a hard-fighting Venezuelan side in their opening group D match at the National Football Stadium yesterday.
German coach Maren Meinert said they would not underestimate any team.
“In a World Cup, all teams are competitive opponents. We see all teams the same,” Meinert said.
“Even though we are the defending champions, all our players are new players so we cannot rate the game against Venezuela because it is not easy to go up against teams in a World Cup,” she said.
Germany dominated possession in the opening minutes straight after Madeline Gier scored in the second minute.
Giving away a lot of possession in the first-half, Venezuela took time to find their rhythm and after some defensive errors by the Germans, US-based Mariana Speckmaier put her side on the board to level scores on the 26th minute.
After registering a goal, the South Americans had the momentum which led to some close opportunities for goals but the tiring Germans scrambled in defence, preventing Venezuela from finding the net.
When the Germans got possession, Gier scored her second goal right before halftime, putting her side in front 2-1.
The Germans started the second-half with some classy plays going forward which resulted in a goal by Lea Schueller on the 51st minute.
The Venezuelans came up with some big plays in the final minutes of the game but the Germans kept their composure to the end.
Even though the defending champions controlled the match, the South Americans showed their fighting spirit by never giving up.
Venezuela coach Jose Catoya praised the efforts of his players as first timers in the global tournament even though he was not happy with the final result.
“It’s our first time in the World Cup. I’m not happy with the result because we had some chances to score but did not make use of those opportunities,” Catoya said.
“We knew Germany would be a difficult team to play against, they are very talented and that is why they dominated possession in the game,” he said.
The South American coach said he was confident his players would perform well in their next games.
By ISAAC LIRI