Germany take women’s soccer gold after beating Sweden
Germans are now one of only three women’s teams to win both Olympics and World Cup
Germany head coach Silvia Neid celebrates with her players following the Women’s Olympic gold medal soccer match. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Germany 2 Sweden 1
Germany won their first ever Olympic gold medal in women’s football on Friday when they turned in a superior second half performance to beat Sweden 2-1.
The number two ranked Germans, who are now one of only three women’s teams to win both the Olympics and World Cup, scored two goals in the second half, and although the Swedes got a goal back they could not get a second to take the game into extra time.
Sweden, who scored just three goals in their five games before the final, started more positively than their previous form suggested, but Germany started to impose themselves as time went on and the best chance of the half fell to Anja Mittag after 25 minutes.
Leonie Maier’s curling shot was only parried by the Swedish keeper and the ball fell to Mittag just yards from goal but she blasted the ball high and wide.
The sides were evenly match but things changed in the second half and it was the Germans who deservedly took the lead three minutes into the second period.
When they did it was a goal worthy of a cup final. Dzsenifer Maroszan gathered a cross ball on the edge of the box and had time to steady herself before curling a perfect strike into the top right hand corner of the net.
They extended their lead 14 minutes later thanks to an unfortunate own goal. A Sara Daebritz free kick from 20 yards smacked the post and Linda Sembrandt tried to clear but instead kneed the ball into her own goal from just a few yards out.
Sweden reacted almost immediately and just five minutes later Stina Blackstenius pulled them back into the game. Olivia Schough hit a beautiful low cross into the box from the right and Blackstenius slid in between two defenders and poked the ball home to cut the deficit.
Schough had a great chance to level the scores three minutes from time but her shot was blocked just yards from goal.
The win was a perfect farewell for German coach Silvia Neid, who was managing the side in her last match.
Germany missed out on the Olympics in 2012 but won the bronze the last three times they played, in 2000, 2004 and 2008.