Team USA won the undercard today, and now we move on to the final between two teams we’re accustomed to seeing in the men’s final: Brazil and Germany. The Germans are the highest ranked team left in the tournament and the defending champions from 2003. They’ve dominated in almost every game they played, and have not allowed a single goal in this tournament, a WWC record.
Brazil, meanwhile, may have the most talented team in the world. They’re led by Marta, who’s likely the best player in the world. She certainly looked like the best player in the world against the United States:
It will be fun to watch the contrasting styles: The disciplined play of the Germans versus the free-flowing, high octane play of the Brazilians.
8:03, 3rd minute: Early in the game, It appears that Germany is controlling possession. Whenever Brazil tries to get the ball into the offensive zone, Germany has managed to take the ball away.
8:05, 5th minute: The first real opportunities for each team. First, Marta takes a deep shot that’s right on target, but Angerer is there to make the save. Then Garefrekes breaks away and takes a shot on the right side. The keeper is out of position, but the shot is just wide.
8:07, 7th minute: Brazil gets the first free kick of the game. Good defense by Germany, who clear it easily.
8:08, 8th minute: YELLOW CARD, Germany. Garefrekes fouls Cristiane just outside the box. On the ensuing free kick Angerer makes the initial save, but the ball was loose with several Brazilian players in front of goal. But they can’t find goal, and Germany is a bit lucky there.
8:10, 10th minute: Beringer makes a great move to get in position, but she doesn;t take a shot, and her pass is easily cleared.
8:12, 12th minute: Cristiane almost has a breakaway, but Germany manges to delfect it just enough to end the scoring threat.
8:15, 15th minute: Some great passing by the Germans through the gaps of Brazil’s defense, and Birgit Prinz is wide open for a shot in the box. Unfortunately, her kick sails too high. Germany may not get a better opportunity than that.
8:16, 16th minute: Less than a minute later, Brazil tries a deep kick to a streaking Cristiane, but Angerer just manages to get to the ball first and clear it.
8:17, 17th minute: Oooh. I think Prinz was fouled by the Brazilian defenders there. She’s certainly not happy with the no-call.
8:19, 19th minute: Corner kick for Brazil, but again, good defense by Germany on those set pieces.
8:20, 20th minute: We’re nearly midway into the first half, and so far both teams have been playing well at a fast pace.
8:22, 22nd minute: Marta might be hurt,hobbling a bit on the field. Let’s see how it affects the game, both teams’ strategy.
8:24, 24th minute: Daniela fires a great strike past Angereer, but it knocks off the post! Oh, the Brazilians came so close, within inches.
8:25, 25th minute: Garefrekes takes the ball away from a Brazilian defender, and she delivers the cross in the box. Beringer misplays it though, and Brzil has a goal kick.
8:27, 27th minute: Wow. This referee is really making her presence felt by…not making her presence felt. A lot of no-calls in this game.
8:29, 29th minute: It’s worth repeating that Germany’s goalkeeper, Angerer, has not allowed a goal in this entire World Cup. I know that there’s a Jens Lehmann joke in there somewhere.
8:31, 31st minute: This game is over one thirds past us, and while the pace of the game has been exciting, I’m surprised that these two high-powered offenses are still scoreless.
8:38, 38th minute: Neither team has had any real chance in the last five minutes or so. Good defense by the Germans, who have made Marta somewhat of a non-factor.
8:40, 40th minute: Renate Lingor went down hard on that tackle, and she’ll head to the sidelines for a short time. 40minutes in, and still no score. Not that I’m complaining, this has been a well-played game so far.
8:44, 44th minute: Brazil gets a corner kick, and they had three good chances at goal. But Germany blocked every shot before they threatened Angerer in goal.
8:46, 45+ minutes: What a play by Marta. She takes a deep pass surrounded by three defenders, and stil manages to come up with the ball, take a shot, and draw a corner kick.
8:47: Wer’e at halftime, and the game is still tied, 0-0. Both teams have played well so far especially on defense. Neither Birgit Prinz of Germany, nor Matra or Cristiane of Brazil have been given a lot of chances to score. it may be that the first team to score will be the result of the first defense to make a mistake.
9:02, 46th minute: The second half begins, and Germany are the aggressors out of the gate. Brazil makes a near costly mistake on defense, but Germany can’t take advantage.
9:04, 48th minute: Sandra Smisek is injured for Germany, and they’re temporarily down to ten players. They get a nice free kick, but Brazil does just enough to prevent a shot on goal.
9:06, 49th minute: Smisek is back in the game.
9:07, 50th minute: Angerer makes the save, but Daniela runs into her forehead. She was down for a minute or so, but she’s okay.
9:08, 52nd minute: GOAL! What a turnaround and pass by Smisek, and Birgit Prinz is open in the middle of the box. She takes the shot and gets it past Andreia. Germany leads, 1-0.
9:11, 55th minute: Marta gets the pass and makes a break for the goal, but Germany’s defense catches up to her in the box. She wants a foul, but the ref won;t make the call.
9:15, 59th minute: YELLOW CARD, Brazil. Daniela gets the call for a hard tackle.
9:16, 60th minute: Marta tries to get past 3 defenders, but the Germany stays disciplined, and Angerer makes the stop before Marta can do anything with the ball.
9:17, 61st minute: Germany gets a corner kick, but they can’t do anything with ball right in front of goal.
9:19, 63rd minute: PENAL! Marts takes a great pass, but Bresnik is taken down hard in the box. Obvious penalty kick, and Marta will take it.
9:20, 64th minute: SAVE! What a save by Angerer! She anticipated the ball, and Marta doesn’t get it quite as far left as she wanted it. Germany is still in the lead, and that might be the play that decides the championship.
9:23, 67th minute: One thing Marta has done well in this game is drawn scoring opportunities through set pieces. Still, she must be disappointed in not making that penalty kick.
9:24, 68th minute: A free kick, and another great save by Angerer. She’s saved the game for Germany twice in the last five minutes.
9:28, 71st minute: If Brazil is going to figure out how to crack the German defense, they have only 20 minutes left to do it. They’ve certainly had their fair share of opportunities, but Germany’s defense has denied them all.
9:31, 74th minute: Substitution: Martina Mueller is in for Behringer.
9:34, 77th minute: Time is running out on Brazil, who aren’t dictating the pace of the game right now.
9:36, 79th minute: Smisek comes out of the game for Germany, and is replaced by Fatmire Bajramaj.
9:38, 81st minute: In Need of offense, Brazil replaces defender Tania for Pretinha. They now have only 10 minutes to find the net before time expires.
9:42, 86th minute: GOAL! Laudher gives Germany another goal. Barring a miracle, they’re now less than five minutes away from defending their World Cup title.
9:47, 90th minute: Brazil has 4 minutes of extra time, but Germany is likely to melt away the clock until the end.
9:50, Full Time: The referee blows the whistle and the game is over. Germany wins 2-0, and are the the Women’s World Cup Champions once again. The managed to spend the entire tournament without conceding a single goal.