Germany tops Sweden to win first Olympic gold medal

The Equalizer Staff August 19, 2016 192
Germany beat Sweden to claim the Olympic gold medal in women's soccer for the first time.

Germany beat Sweden to claim the Olympic gold medal in women’s soccer for the first time.

Dzsenifer Marozsan played a role in each of her team’s goals as Germany defeated Sweden, 2-1 on Friday at the Maracana Stadium to win the gold medal in the Rio 2016 Olympics women’s soccer tournament. The Olympic gold medal is a first for Germany in women’s soccer after three consecutive bronze medals at the turn of the millennium.

The match was Silvia Neid’s final time in charge of Germany before stepping down, a move which was announced a year ago.

Marozsan opened the scoring three minutes after halftime, perfectly placing a right-footed shot past Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl from the top of the 18-yard box. Marozsan held up her run as Leonie Maier provided the los service behind Swedish defenders running back toward their own goal.

[MORE: Germany sends Neid out on top]

The decisive goal came in the 62nd minute, ironically via an own goal committed by Linda Sembrant, one of the reasons Sweden’s defense has been so hard to beat in the knockout-round of this tournament. Following Lotta Schelin’s foul on Sarah Daebritz just outside the box, Marozsan stepped up and sent a right-footed shot off the near post and Sembrant, facing her own net, mis-hit the clearance into her own goal.

Sweden would push forward and immediately draw a goal back five minutes later through Stina Blackstenius, but the two-goal deficit was a tall order for a Sweden team which only scored three goals in five matches entering into Friday’s final.

The start of the second half stood in stark contrast to the opening minutes of the match. Sweden came out more aggressively than expected in the opening minutes, having spent the previous two games bunkered in against the U.S. and Brazil, both of whom Sweden beat in penalty kicks. Sweden still defended with a four-back and five in the midfield, but did push forward enough to earn six corner kicks in the first half.

[MORE: Like them or not, Sweden must be respected]

But it was Germany which had the better of the chances and shoud have been ahead at halftime. Melanie Leupolz missed an open header from six yards out in the 20th minute, and Anja Mittag missed a sitter from six yards out in the 25th minute after Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl spilled a rebound.

The silver medal for Sweden marks the country’s best-ever finish at the Olympics. It matches Sweden’s best finish at an Olympics or Word Cup following a runner-up finish at the 2003 World Cup, falling to Germany in the final.

Friday’s gold-medal game was the first all-European Olympic gold medal match in women’s soccer – because it was the first time the United States didn’t feature in the final – since the sport was introduced to the Olympics in 1996. It was also the first Olympic women’s soccer final coached by two women.

Neid will now hand over the reins to Steffi Jones. Sundhage’s contract with Sweden is up at the end of the year, and she has stated several times in the previous 18 months that she probably won’t continue coaching Sweden after that. The European Championship is next summer.

Earlier Friday, Canada defeated host Brazil, 2-1 to win the bronze medal for a second straight Olympic Games.

[LAULETTA: Five reasons the USWNT lost in the quarterfinals of the Olympics]

  • guest

    women’s football is saved!!!

    • Guest

      I don’t know. They allowed a team to play the final whose country did not fight the Nazis.

      • guest

        Why are you injecting Nazis into the discussion? We will have none of that here!

      • x

        …you know Japan played in the last three finals, right?

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. S/he is an ignorant peasant and, worse, s/he has no understanding.

  • Miami66

    Exciting final, Sweden didn’t completely bunker. The women’s final has delivered fantastic play at every Olympics, all close back-and-forth matches. The first in Atlanta had the packed stadiums as a precursor to 1999, with a close USA-China final. The 2nd had that last minute US tying goal before Norway got the golden goal. Then the two classic USA-Brazil finals which both went extra time. Then of course USA-Japan in Wembley and now another close on in the Maracana.

    • Steglitz49

      Pia should have started Stina Blackstenius. A creative move would have had her in stead of Lotta from the start. Lotta could have come on for Sofia.

      Germany were always the favorites in this match. That is how it ended.

      • Gustavus Adolphus

        Not much consolation in “Germany were always the favorites in this match.” That’s a cheap excuse for losing. At least you don’t blame this one on the refs.

  • Tom F

    Marozsan = 2016 Ballon d’or

    • Nicole C.

      She scores when she wants.

    • Guest

      Why? She has been invisible up until today. Why should someone get that award for scoring a goal in one match, and really only showing up in that one match, when there are plenty of other players who are not in position to score goals but are keeping their team in games? Scoring goals does not make you the best. There are defenders and goalkeepers who keep their team in matches.

      That being said, I would give it to Sinclair. Very good THROUGHOUT the tournament, in addition to an incredible club season thus far.

      • Ethan

        I feel like Tom F’s comment can be looked at as a dig at FIFA when Lloyd was named Player of the Year. Lloyd was definitely influential in more than one match at the 2015 WWC, but the idea of giving Marozsan the Player of the Year award on this match is the same.

        • Steglitz49

          They vote for FIFA POTY. 1/3rd each from NT captains, NT coaches and the Fourth Estate.

        • Tom F

          yeah, pretty much so; the award seems to go to whoever was the best player at the most important game of the year. Personally I would pick Ashley Lawrence of Canada, mvp for the Rio Olympics

          • guest

            guess ronaldo will be a lock for the men’s fifa poty.

          • Steglitz49

            some Icelander my gatecrash the party? More likely Lagerbäck for male COTY.

          • Steglitz49

            The great and the good make a shortlist of 10 for the ladies. You could argue that 12 or even 15 might be justified today.

            Then as I typed elsewhere, they vote on it: 1/3rd each from the NT captains, NT head coaches and the press.

            The safe money is on DZ, Lindahl and Däbrtiz. Blackstenius could be an outside chance because of her goals against the US and Germany, but I doubt it. Had she been American oth …

      • ertelmetlen

        The Carly Lloyd Logic. (Becky Sauerbrunn was the best player of the tournament)
        It would be funny if Marozsan ends up winning the golden ball considering that she had the worst year of her young career.

        • Guest

          Not sure I agree on Sauerbrunn. She was good but was only really tested against France. She was also at least partly responsible for giving up the goal Sweden pick up on the counter.

          • ertelmetlen

            I meant she was the best in WC15. I assume you are talking about the olympics? Or did sweden scored a goal on Becky in the World Cup too?

          • Guest

            I was talking about the Olympics. Sweden and the US played to a nil nil draw at the WC in a game much more boring than the quarterfinal match. Instead of one team kicking the ball to the other team both teams were.

            I agree that Becky was the best player in the 2015 WC she was excellent. I think she’s fallen off a bit this year though.

          • Steglitz49

            She was tested and found wanting by Sweden.

        • Guest

          I definitely agree that Maro was poor throughout the Olympics though outside of this match.

        • Steglitz49

          I thought that in the Olympics they only get the medals.

      • JL

        No, Sinclair was NOT good throughout the tournament. And have we been watching the same games in NWSL? Because she’s been not great there, either.

        And Angerer won her POTY award for two penalty saves in one game. That was the only reason.

      • Steglitz49

        For the same reason as Carli Lloyd getting it. Spectacular play in a final.

        It is between DZ and Hedvig Lindahl. Let’s hope that Lindahl gets it.

  • Miami66

    And good to see the stadium was packed even without Brazil. Rio, Manaus and Sao Paolo all had sizable crowds even when Brazil weren’t playing. Salvador and Belo Horizonte didn’t, but this tournament was probably a big boost to the women’s game in Brazil. Now we’ll see if it extends to the rest of South America. Colombia seem to be gaining support.

    They could pull off a future Women’s World Cup when the country stabilizes more. Though I’m sure before that they’ll go to Japan, Australia, England. Maybe a real USA followup to ’99.

    • Steglitz49

      Brazil’s turn in 2035, maybe? Japan are expected to get WC-23 if they apply. Then FIFA would like it in the US for 2027 for obvious reasons and 2031 might well be England.

      • Miami66

        Yeah although Japan might not be a total lock. Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics. You also have South Korea & Beijing, China hosting the next two winter olympics. So Australia could be a strong possibility. Then again Japan will have a ton of recently built stadiums from 2002 WC, 2019 Rugby WC and 2020 Olympics. USA should get another, but they may be favorites for the 2026 men’s world cup. And Canada was pretty close to a US one.

        • Steglitz49

          Japan were essentially offered 2019 but, as you note, preferred to wait till after the 2020 Olympics and some other sporting event. Unless Japanese WoSo goes belly up, 2023 is a lock for them. If they don’t want it, maybe Brazil already in 2023?

  • Ethan

    I thought Sweden were just a little too slow on passing when they broke into good space (i.e. Seger in the second half and Schelin on occasion).

    Great finish from Marozsán and unlucky own goal from Sembrant. Really nice goal from Sweden. Despite all the criticisms of their play this tournament, that was quintessential timing and execution on the entry pass from Asllani, a lovely cross from Schough, and great forward instinct from Blackstenius.

    • Observed

      Marozsán finally played up to billing.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        Yep. Turned up for just 45 minutes and won them the tournament. Guess she is worth the hype?

    • dw

      Yes 2 excellent goals.

    • Steglitz49

      Blackstenius should have started. That was a tactical mistake.

      • Walter

        She can become a big star. Hope so. Greetings from Germany

        • Steglitz49

          Some would say she already is and had she been an American, we would never hear the end of it.

      • Camoes

        She will not save SWE from being a perpetual loser side. For every Stina there is an Asslani.

  • RIP ME

    Neid is my woman

  • dw

    A very exciting, if not entirely great game. Congrats to Ze Germans.
    Not much to say about the game, except that it seems most top WoSo teams are mired with one foot in the past (or maybe even 8 or 9 toes). Nothing innovative tactically for anyone. One thing that stands out for me is that the Gold medal winning team is SLOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW. Their passing and shooting is excellent, but with the exception of the outside backs, there is like zero speed on the German side.
    Germans will have a new coach, so perhaps some new tactics from them in Euros.
    Makes you wonder if any of the also rans would have not called up their 3 or 4 oldest players and brought in their fastest 16-20 year olds, what might have happened…

    • Observed

      Germany lacks pace. But they have excellent ball control. It’s about discipline, the German motto. USA has pace, and France has some fast runners, but what use is it if there is no discipline, and no finish?

      Nice to see the Swedish bus diverted off a cliff into the jungle. Germans could have retaliated on thug Swedish players, but kept discipline. Total class.

    • guest

      I don’t know how you’re able to judge their speed, unless you have a stopwatch on them, which I doubt. So I think you must mean they’re slow in comparison to the Swedes.

      • Guest

        Their whole team is slow compared to all of the other top NTs. Australia, Brazil, France, Sweden, Canada, England and the United States all have more pace up and down their lineups.

        • guest

          Okay, but how would the casual observer know this? I suppose you could watch individual match ups. But I still find it hard to believe. I mean, are they eating too much Bavarian chocolate cake in camp?

          • Guest

            Just watch the matchups in each game they played compare their players to the other teams that you watch often. I think it’s pretty easy to see the speed of front line and back line players as they have to sprint at various points during each match.

          • guest

            About German slowness, maybe they’re just thinking more about the situation, and lose a step. You know, Germans are like that.

        • Steglitz49

          Of those, Sweden played Germany close in this final and got there by knocking out the US and Brazil along the way.

      • dw

        I watch probably a hundred soccer games and hundreds of horse races a year, therefore I submit to you that I am able to judge the speed at which athletes are moving. I am sure others also have this ability, some probably to a greater extent than myself.

        • guest

          Who do you judge to be the fastest on the USWNT? In the NFL, defenders are the fastest.

          • Steglitz49

            Do you mean fittest or fatest?

          • dw

            That is a bit harder to judge, because usually you see the outside backs closing down a counterattack without the ball. And you see wingers attack with the ball at their feet. Judging by how fast she is with the ball I would rate Pugh fastest. But that’s an assumption based on: every player has a baseline sprint speed, and they retain X% of that speed when they possess the ball. Either “X” for Pugh is MUCH higher than that of the rest of the team, or her baseline speed is higher, or both. Watching Kling or O’Hara or Krieger close someone down, they get the benefit of all their straight line speed.

          • Steglitz49

            Yet Sweden reached the final. Not enough closing down.

            Had Stina Blackstenius been American then she would have had the benefit of the Morgan-treatment. As it is, Stina is just a Swede.

        • ertelmetlen

          This whole “Germany is really-really slow” argument is bit of an oversimplification imo. There is definitely some truth to it (especially the two central defenders, which makes the high defensive line very vulnerable), but the apparent lack of pace is consequence of their tactical approach. With Laudehr out, they didn’t had real wing players which is the position where the fastest ladies play. The retirement of Sasic also contributed to the lack of speed, as Neid decided to bring only Popp as pos. 9 player (how has decent pace, but definitely slower than Sasic). Germany rarely has a chance to counterattack as their opponents sit back and play for counterattack themselves, I think this also contributes to them seeming to be slow.

          Another rarely mentioned factor is the lack of fitness compared to other teams. These girl have 30-40 games in their legs with not too much time to heal before international tournaments. As their clubs are their employers, they play through smaller injuries through the season, and don’t have the luxury to go on training camps months before the tournament starts to time their peak performance. While I believe that for example the USWNT is athletically superior (pretty sure Dunn could compete on track), the fact the national team is the #1 priority (Wambach sitting out the whole season is the ultimate example even if she was crap in the WC) also contributes to the fact that they seem to be from an other planet in terms of speed and stamina.

          • Guest

            I don’t think pace is one of the most important qualities in German football. The Men’s national team seems to have gotten along well without having a ton of pace in their side over the years. I see the German women’s team lacking pace as more of a footballing culture thing in Germany. They value other things more than pace. They do have a couple of pacy players in their squad but no one like Thomis, Dunn, Pugh or Morgan.

            Not sure I agree with the lack of fitness either. The FIFA technical report claimed they were among the fittest teams at the FIFA World Cup last year and they didn’t look much faster last year than they do this year. Beyond that, Germany likes to high press as a team which can help neutralize some of their opponents pace when they do it effectively but leave them hopelessly exposed to fast teams when they do not. Australia for example should have put 3 or 4 in the back of the net in their group match all on the counter.

          • ertelmetlen

            “The FIFA technical report claimed they were among the fittest teams at the FIFA World Cup”
            How the hell can they determine which is the fittest team? Total distance covered? I’m seriously intrigued.

            ” they didn’t look much faster last year than they do this year”
            Last year was even worse, the Frankfurt players had around 2 weeks to recover between the champions league final and the start of the World Cup. Laudehr was nursing a knee injury through the whole tournament while Marozsan got injured during the first training and was pretty much useless after their win against Sweden (both Frankfurt players).

            But I generally agree that Germany does not put as big emphasis on speed and athleticism as other teams do. I also agree on the men’s team, but I feel that speed and strength are more important factors in the women’s game as the tactical and technical level is not there yet and there are lot more situations where it comes done to two women chasing a long ball.

          • Guest

            I’m extrapolating fittest team and they probably aren’t fitter than the US but they were one of the top teams in distance covered at the WC. They have to be fit to high press like they like to but I think they need some faster CBs if they want to continue to hold a high line against the top teams. I agree that speed and athleticism is more important in women’s football than it is in men’s football.

          • dw

            A thoughtful discussion. I also don’t know the difference in training quality and expense between the top WNTs. Also, Germany is obviously selected on technical quality first, physicality second, perhaps speed third. But it is surprising not to have an option open to them, where you could bring on your track star-esque forward when you are down a goal late. Perhaps they do have such a player, and we didn’t see her, or maybe such a player could make a 23 player roster where she couldn’t make the top 18?

          • Hugo

            Everyone was surprised that Bremer was not selected. She has some speed.

            Laudehr was planned to play than right wing instead of Bremer. Laudehr – also not slow – was fouled and out

            As a result Melanie Leupolz who is usually a defensive midfielder had to play right winger

            Neid was happy to come away with that terrible choice of not having Bremer with the team

          • Steglitz49

            I thought she was asked not to select Bremer because the DFB wanted her fresh for the U20 WC.

          • Hugo

            I read that here as well, but I think it is not true

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

        • Mathieu

          So they are soooo slow and they won gold, are no 2 in the world and have been the only thread to the US Wc dream of 2015.

          With all the slow players they also won the last U20 WC

          Who of the men’s 2014 team was extraordinary fast? They won the WC. They beat Brazil 7:1.

          I guess you need to watch another 100 matches in order to understand that pace is not everything

          • Steglitz49

            The ponderous Swedes got to play two matches at the Maracana to the US’s zero and got the silver in a close match.

            Turnips of the world: unite!

          • dw

            No, I get it, but A) It’s still surprising even if you do understand; and B) US cultural bias at play, even the bottom of the table NWSL team is faster than GWNT.

  • Seig Heil

    Hail Victory! Steg was right, Sewden would not win a gold medal, and ightly so. Thugs like Goldberg deserved to lose.

    • newsouth

      usa should vacate every medal or cup they won with wambach or lloyd on the roster.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily.

  • RIP ME

    So happy because the team that won not call football “soccer”

    • krausch

      Non English nations calling association football football just means they didn’t have any established form of football before England’s finalized version spread around. So congrats on having no sports in the 19th century.

      • Steglitz49

        Soccer was first played in Brazil in 1894.

        Argentina were 27 years earlier in 1867, which is before Germany in 1874. Italy only in 1898. For Sweden an exact date has not been recorded but it is claimed 1870s.

        • Zoraum

          Americans were playing variations on football brought from English colonists before association football existed. So when England finalized and codified association football, it was just another variation, and just another football among several played here.

          If we had nothing but stickball and jogging then obviously we would only have the one football when the first association clubs sprouted up over here in the late 19th century and wouldn’t have to give it an alternate name.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point was “Congrats on having no sports in the19th century”.

            I merely noted 5 countries that did, not least Brazil, where these OG are held and where “Rip Me” seems to hail from.

          • Zoraum

            It was a hyperbole. I know association football was spreading across the world by the late 19th century. The point is they didn’t have well established football games before this introduction while we did, and use this arbitrary occurrence to smugly denounce the name soccer which gets tiring.

          • Steglitz49

            The venerable journal The Economist claims that had it not been for the Civil War, cricket would have been the US’s national sport. Cricket, not baseball or grid-iron.

            The oddest thing, given how manic and sensitive the French are about their language, is that it is the FFF = Federation Francaise de Football. It is the Ballon d’Or but not Ballon à Pied — instead le foot for short.

            Indeed, the name of the world’s game is either translated, like fotboll or Fussball or phonetically rendered.

            CSA stands for Canadian Soccer Association, the ultimate tautology.

            Anyone for grid-iron?

          • Godot

            Americans call a sport football which is not played with a ball but with an ugly egg and where they mainly through the egg or run with it instead of kicking it with the foot.

            They should be silent and embarrassed when it comes to the football vs soccer discussion

          • Zoraum

            Do you think that Americans started with modern day American Football and gave it that name to piss you and the rest of the world off? No you moron, obviously it was played with a round ball you kicked with your feet over 150 years ago, and slowly evolved into what it is today and nobody got the memo to change the name of a popular ever growing sport because some foreigners decided at some point there would only be one football.

          • Godot

            So it’s a different sport now. Hence give it a different name

          • Zoraum

            Yeah it’s very reasonable to expect a country to change the name of a century old sport whose preseason games get better ratings than other (american) leagues championship finals.

            American football will probably die when the sport gets banned for producing too many mush brained concussion victims, but in the meantime the word soccer in America has a very obvious and straight forward etymology which isn’t hard to understand or tolerate if more than 5 seconds is spent thinking about a country that might have a slightly different sporting history or culture than yours.

          • Godot

            I do respect that. But you apparently don’t respect countries calling football football.

          • Zoraum

            If i was on a non american community site the word soccer wouldn’t leave my lips (keyboard)

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. In the US, football is grid iron and soccer is soccer. Thus “Rip Me” was a bit pathetic in her/his comment but thens/he generally is.

          • Zoraum

            I over-reacted but it’s what i do

          • Steglitz49

            Not really. I think Australia and New Zealand call it soccer too.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            New Zealanders call it football, that is a big part of why I was supporting them this tournament.

          • Godot

            If I was on a non american community I would not claim that the US had no sports in 19th century

          • Steglitz49

            S/He did not claim that. Also, cricket was a big sport in America and but for the Civil War would have been their national pass time, not baseball — at least according to the Economist.

          • Godot

            I didn’t say that he did

            He said that all non English nations calling the sport football had no sports in 19th century

            “So congrats on having no sports in the 19th century”

            He said that he would call the sport football in a non US forum. So he said that he would respect other countries in their forums.

            So I just said that I would respect the US in a non US forum (unlike he did with all the countries calling the sport football here in this US forum)

          • Steglitz49

            There was association football and rugby football but football came to be the name of the one played with the feet while rugby took the name of the school. There is an Eton ball game but it never took on.

            It is the JFA but they call the sport “sacka” in Japanese (maybe if should be transliterated “sácka”) because of American influence after WW2.

          • Nicolette

            Give them time. They even don’t have the metrics system yet

          • David K Anderson

            In a perfect linguistic world, I’d probably call American football “gridiron,” or something like that. But languages are messy things…

    • Steglitz49

      Neither team does. Fotboll and Fussball.

    • Breakers fan

      words are scary. we already had a game called football so this situation is pretty simple.

      • braSil

        You call what you want and I call what I want

        • Breakers fan

          Exactly right. They both refer to the same thing.

    • Breakers fan

      Even though concern about a word is silly, congrats to you on the men’s team victory — I was rooting for your team – they’re a lot of fun to watch and I’m happy for Neymar that he came through in the clutch. Also congrats on the volleyball Golds – indoor and beach. Also a lot of fun. I saw the semis and finals of indoor and some of the beach final. Indoors, that guy Wallace was my favorite – such a powerful spike!

      • braSil

        Bernardinho is a legend as volleyball coach.

        • Breakers fan

          Cool. Yeah, that “old guy” impressed me very much. So passionate still at his age. And hey, his son Bruno certainly deserves to be playing – he is quite good as well.

  • Steg Watch

    Come out, come out, wherever you are TROLL. I want to hear you sing the praises of Marozsán. Add her to your panoply of FK maidens, Miyama and Heath.

    • Tom F

      his country of 10 mil. beat a country with 330 mil plus. Swedes on average knows more about soccer than we do!

  • Bae Watch

    Leupolz and Goessling are babes.

    • Tom F

      what about Dabritz & Maier?

      • Guest

        Jakobsson and Rolfö über alles…

        • John

          Always liked Asllani myself

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            No love on here for Schough?

      • dw

        Or Kemme?

    • Hugh H

      Leupolz is just wow. What a natural beauty

  • NYRick

    Thank you Germany. Steg may have been unbearable with a gold.

    I’m waiting for the “terrible refereeing” tirade soon coming.

    Two points:
    1. A German win is not a good thing for the US. I thought they were essentially regrouping after the WC and in transition.

    2. Sweden played more open in this match. Why change a winning formula in the final? Especially against a team that has world class players who could hurt you with time and space.

    • CED

      People have wifully mischaracterized Sweden. It happens that they are one of the full WoSo team that plays organized defense. They play to match ups, Germany back line is slow, actualy very slow, Sweden played higher up. Also, Germany doesn’t really pay with a #9, thee is nobody stretching the back 4. Thee is also the fact Sweden knows Germany well and vice versa, Sweden knew they weren’t going to hold Germany scoreless, while the same can’t be said for US, b/c we are clueless on how to break down organized defenses.

      • Calci0

        Why the drastic change in organized defense between the two Brasil games?

        • Guest

          Brazil showed Pia that they could easily get in behind and beat them over the top in the first game. Brazil however failed to break down the defense as well. Germany’s first goal however is somewhat a product of Sweden playing more open. The second goal was unlucky. There would have been players swarming the US player in Maroszan’s position during the USA Sweden game. I also imagine that Pia didn’t really want to take the Germans to a PSO.

          • Steglitz49

            The second goal was unlucky. Own goals tend to be.

        • Steglitz49

          So as not to let in another 5 goals.

        • CED

          There was not really a change. The !st Brazil game the Swedish left back had a disaster of a game, she didn’t start games after that. Also, when you’re playing a sitting back, an early goal makes them come out. Brazil didn’t get that so there was no reason for Sweden to open up the game.

    • JL

      I think Pia knew that sitting back and hoping for penalties was a bad idea. Germany is renowned for their prowess at penalties, while Sweden had already been through 2 penalty shootouts, and thus Germany had plenty of footage on their penalties. Plus Sweden had played an extra 60 minutes, and with so little time to recover, she knew they most likely didn’t have the legs to go through a third straight game of extra time.

    • Ethan

      Well, a lot of people wanted Sweden to play more offensively. I’m with one of the commentators, and I’m interested in hearing the justification for taking Asllani off.

      • Steglitz49

        She was getting tired. Pauline Hammarlund is an excellent player.

    • Guest

      Germany is not usually more of an offensive threat than USA and Brazil, so I can see why they did that since the aforementioned two were not able to break them down. Also, going to PKs for a third time probably would not favor them.

      • Guest

        What? Germany has very good offensive players even if they lack pace. Almost all are good shooters from distance and excellent passers.

        • Ethan

          Right, and they had a good header chance and a point-blank miss in the first half. However, the goals ultimately came from a defensive clearance and an own goal that normally doesn’t happen. So, Maroszan was good from range today, but Germany’s win didn’t really come from being great offensively.

          • Guest

            Pep’s Bayern formulated a lot of their offense around capitalizing on chaos after crosses or scooping up poor clearances. I think Maroszan’s goal was a piece of good football and a good shot from the edge of the area. The second was a OG but and excellent shot from a set piece. I credit Sweden with excellent defensive play during the knock out stages of the tournament. What I was disagreeing with is the comment that Germany is not more of an offensive threat than Brazil or the US. I think they are probably better against defenses that sit in while Brazil and the US are superior on the break. I don’t agree that that make the US and Brazil more of an offensive threat than the Germans though. They are certainly better at breaking down defenses even if they got Sweden to play a little today.

          • Steglitz49

            The 2011-2 Nadeshiko remain WoSo’s Dream Team.

          • Steglitz49

            The first goal came from off a fine pass out to the right wing. The speed of the movement led to a breakdown in the Swedish defense, the only breakdown in the whole match.

            Nevertheless, few players can beat a keeper of Lindahl’s class from that distance and Lindahl got the tips of her fingers on it. Hedvig stands 5′ 10 1/2″. Hope at 5’9″ would not have had a hope of reaching it.

            The second goal came off a freekick in a dangerous position, which was obtained by offense.

          • Ethan

            Right, and Pugh and Dunn gave Sweden fits centrally and out wide, such as the nutmeg play on which Dunn was incorrectly called offside.

            That freekick came from great pressure from Daebritz, not from structured offense. (There was structured offense prior to winning the ball back, but it wasn’t more than what the U.S. and Brazil were able to do.)

          • Steglitz49

            Däbritz ought to get POTY but I guess it will be between DZ and Lindahl.

          • Ethan

            If Däbritz and Behringer both played well for Bayern in the past season, then I do think they have a good chance of winning POTY. (I know Bayern were knocked out of the Champions League, but they did win the league.) I don’t know how well Lindahl has played for Chelsea, but despite not exactly playing well in the final (i.e. a number of fumbles), she probably will be a POTY candidate because of her performances against the US and Brazil.

          • Hood

            What about the 2012 final? Did you came to the same conclusion?

          • Ethan

            The 2012 Olympic final? I don’t quite see the relevance. Are you talking about looking at the offense from the U.S. and Japan? For all of Japan’s good play (i.e. Solo save on Ogimi), Japan’s goal came from a poor Rampone clearance, and Lloyd’s first goal was great from Boxx to the finish.

          • Steglitz49

            You forget the bearhug in the box that should have been a penalty and sending off.

          • Ethan

            My comment that Hood replied to had nothing to do with poor refereeing. Japan definitely should have gotten a penalty, and van Hollebeke (then Buehler) should have been sent off. However, I believe that play came from a free kick; so, that wasn’t offense via the run of play.

        • Steglitz49

          Hear hear.

      • Hood

        Stick to another sport. You don’t understand soccer

    • Guest

      #2. Because Germany lack pace throughout their squad and are much less likely to hurt Sweden over the top and getting in behind on counters. The other reason is because historically German teams don’t lose in the PSO. Pia still played on the counter they just committed more numbers forward.

      • Hood

        You are all about pace. So a team without pace won gold. How is that possible?

    • Steglitz49

      The match could have gone either way though on the whole Germany looked the likely winner and were the favorites.

      DZ’s first goal came off one of the few times when the Swedish defense lost its organization and shape. Sembrandt’s own goal was unfortunate. She had to clear it. It went into the goal.

      The one criticism of Pia is that she should have started Blackstenius though that is marginal.

      • Guest

        Blackstenius looked like Sweden’s most dangerous counter-attacking player the few times I saw her play. Your conclusion seems reasonable.

        • Steglitz49

          I would have started Blackstenius instead of Schelin.

    • Tikitaka

      Lol about Steg. I feel like the US rebuild/transition has been even more drastic than Germany’s over the last year.

  • dw

    Pia needed to practice the bunker a little less and practice the striker staying onside a little more.

    • Tom F

      Pia needs to get rid of Schelin, she was way too selfish with the ball. But Sweden still has a great future. Jacobbson(possibly the fastest woso player in the world) is 26 year old, and newcomers like Blackstenius, Hammerlund & Rolfo are only 20-22.
      Sweden go something else the rest of the world don’t have; the ability to beat the US over & over again(4 wins 2 looses in the last five years)

      • Ethan

        I haven’t watched Jakobsson regularly; so, I can’t say anything about her general play. However, Jakobsson was the biggest offside culprit today; so, dw’s comment is most relevant to her.

        • dw

          Exactly so. Schelin might be old, and she might be selfish. But I rate her highest at staying onsides vs. a high back line.

      • Guest

        Jakobsson is fast, but I can think of some players that I definitely think are faster — De Vanna, Thomis, Dunn, etc

        • David K Anderson

          Menges, Kleiner…etc.

      • Steglitz49

        Correct. In the matches against the US, Brazil and now this match, there were times when Lotta did not pass in time when she should have.

        I would havse started Blackstenius. That is the only criticism you could make. An inventive coach would have started Stina instead of Lotta and brought Lotta on for Sofia.

  • Lorehead

    Congratulations! The scheduling this year was not good for me to watch, but I might be able to see the replay.

    • Steglitz49

      I wonder what the viewing figures in the US was for this final?

    • mockmook

      NBC Olympics has all the games on their website (if you have a cable subscription).

      • Lorehead

        Yeah, but I’m a cord-cutter. They do replay the matches late at night.

  • jdee26

    LIVE BY ‘DEFENSE’ DIE BY ‘DEFENSE’……….

    Quite ironic that own defensive goal prevented another penalty kick decider. Sweden’s drive to possible Olympic gold was on borrowed time. Again beating the Swedish bunker is speedy flank play and early goal to force Sweden to commit more players forward. USWNT’S right flank was slow at best. The 4-3-3 scheme favored by Jill should have featured Pugh, Morgan and Crystal with Heath as pure’10’. Morgan Brian was not on top of her game for this game. Jill’s dogma of ride her status quo horses spelled doom for USWNT, Time to ditch tired slogans and moribund midfielders.

  • Guest

    Caroline Seger is fantastic. Keep her and dump the rest of the vets

  • Guest

    SINCLAIR FOR FIFA POTY

    • JL

      If some US players had performed like Sinclair did in this tournament, people here would be ripping them apart and writing post after post about how overrated they are and that they underperformed. Sinclair had a subpar tournament overall. Her teammates were the ones who got her to that point, and she was almost invisible. The fact that she scored a couple of goals does not outweigh how un-involved she was most of the time.

      • guest

        “Sinclair…was almost invisible” I don’t know about that. Maybe she was doing stuff behind the scenes. In the Germany match she seemed to be everywhere, doing dirty work, clearing the ball. She seems especially good in the air, as she demonstrated in London 2012.

    • Steglitz49

      I doubt it. It is between DZ and Hedvig.

    • Walter

      Since there was no outstanding player at the Olympics I would go for Ada Hegerberg

      If has to be someone from the Olympics I would go for Hedvig or Däbritz

      But I guess it will be Marta as half of the folks who can vote have no clou of women’s soccer at all and will go for famous names

      • Steglitz49

        Hedvig Lindahl, Sara Däbritz, Stina Blackstenius and Melanie Leupolz spring to mind of those who played in the final.

        • Guest

          Not Lindahl the 5-1 dumpster fire vs Brazil. Much better to have a winner like Däbritz.

      • Guest

        Shortlist:

        Formiga
        Sinclair
        Behringer
        Seger
        Heath
        Beckie
        Lindahl
        Marta
        A. Morgan
        Dabritz

  • ertelmetlen

    Germany::::::::::
    As someone rooting for the german WNT, I’m obviously happy with the result but was not impressed by the team. Neid seemed to be pretty clueless unfortunately I don’t have high hopes for her successor :(. Marozsan (who is my favourite player in woman football) had a very disappointing tournament, wonder what happened to her. While she is probably not 100% physically, she often looked totally lost. Her movement and passing was really lacking. Happy that she kinda came through in the final otherwise she would deserve a fair share of the blame for the below-expectations performance of the team. The Bartusiak-Krahn back pair was suspect once again, I hope that some fresh blood is getting introduced to the team at the centre back position. Schult, Maier and Kemme was pretty good but Germany was (once again) very vulnerable on the counter-attack. Behringer’s overall good performance was a pleasant surprise, she really showed up this time. Dabritz and Leupolz were overall pretty good. Mittag was disappointing, but I start to appreciate what Popp brings to the table with her relentlessness and work ethic. Considering how vulnerable Germany was on the counter-attack and how many chances they missed, I consider them a bit lucky to win the gold (to be fair pretty much all tournament winning team had things go their way in critical situations). Bummed for Laudehr.

    • Guest

      Maybe it’s just the two games against the US but I have not been as impressed with Maier as some others have been. Rapinoe destroyed her in the 2015 WC and Heath should have had her sent off inside 20 minutes at SBC. Kemme is the only German back line player I like going forward.

      • Guest

        Thank you

      • Steglitz49

        Maier is essentially a thug but gets away with it because of her looks and (relatively) slight size.

        • Steg Patrol

          No, the SWE defenders are the dirty types, getting numerous yellow cards last night. To call Meier a “thug” speaks volumes about your being a sore loser.

      • x

        Maier’s dreadful as a defender. She’s in that Hinkle/Belanger class where they can offer attack internationally, and I assume she offers enough defense in their domestic league, but they just don’t have the defensive skill to shut down good wingers consistently.

        • Hugo

          So is there any difference to Krieger or Klingenberg?

          • Steglitz49

            Her name starts with M?

          • x

            Are you asking if a) there’s a difference between Krieger and Kling or b) there’s a difference between the Krieger/Kling group and the Maier/Hinkle/Belanger group?

          • Hugo

            Between Krieger/Kling and Meier. If Meier is a dreadful defender than Krieger and Kling are dreadful as well

          • x

            I disagree. Krieger is a defense-first defender and an entirely different breed than the other 4. Kling, IMO, has different defensive strengths/weaknesses than the other three. When I see a winger going by Maier/Hinkle/Belanger, it’s usually because the winger used a move and the defender was hopelessly lost. When I see a winger going by Kling, they’re usually just running by because she’s average at best in foot speed and wingers tend to be fast. And the way JE wants her fullbacks pushing up exacerbates Kling’s issues because she’s just not fast enough to catch up.

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          For Bayern Munich she plays as a wing back rather than a full back, so she has far less defensive work to do.

    • Tom F

      Neid had Maro playing DM until this game when she switched with Behringer and moved to Attacking mid.yeah, the cb’s are suspect and notice that the fb’s, Kemme & Maier play way way up. That’s why I was surprised how effective the two-man off sides trap was, But a lot of credit had to go to the gk, Schult, as she bursted out of the penalty box to cover any space that was left if the Swedes attackers got past the defense.
      Excellent win for Germany considering this wasn’t the best team they ever had, especially with Goessling not being 100% and missing other German players like Alushi, Laudehr, Bremer & Magull

      • Guest

        Germany got a little lucky with the draw like the US did last year at the WC. They match up terribly with the US and France and didn’t have to play either due poor quarterfinal performances(and a missed penalty call for France). Having to play the US if they dropped to third in the group would have been a nightmare for them.

        • Steglitz49

          The US did not get lucky with the WC-15 draw. It was fixed for them by FIFA.

          • Guest

            Teams still had to do their jobs and finish top of their groups. Japan didn’t have to play any of US, Germany or France until the final so one could say they had an easy path as well.

          • Steglitz49

            Japan benefitted from the biased draw which favored the US and the hosts, Canada.

            France could have availed themselves of that draw but were too stupid or arrogant to do so.

  • ertelmetlen

    Sweden:::::::::::::
    I was really impressed by Sweden. Coming back from a 5:1 defeat to oust Brazil was an incredible feat, even if they choose to play a radical style of football. Having played back to back 120 min games, their performance in the final was quiet remarkable in my opinion. While they benefited from the messy defence of Germany, they really had a couple of very good chances to score. I prefer watching action filled games decided by the better midfield control, but I hope that their run inspires other teams to try a more strategical play-for-your-strengths approach. Their run reminded me of the great Italy teams: great defending, a solid keeper and a couple of great attacking players who can make things happen on the counter-attack.

  • ertelmetlen

    Canada:::::::::::::
    While I was happy that their aggressive bully-ball style play bit them in the ass in the semi-finals, I think they were a well organized team with some real talent. I don’t know their players very well, but the performance of Lawrence, Rose and Flamming gives reason for optimism. Their contributions are very impressive given that they are still playing for their universities. I just realized that in the bronze match, both goal was created by the Lawrence, Rose, Flamming trio. Lawrence’s run and Flamming beautiful pass were great, as was Rose’s clinical finish. After a poor performance in the semis Buchanan redeemed herself.

    • Steglitz49

      Canada will be a force in 2019.

      Meanwhile, we can enjoy the Euros in Holland next year and there is always the ladies Champions League and the FA Cup final at Wembley.

      • guest

        2017 cl final lyon vs wolfsburg.

        • Steglitz49

          OG-16 final was Sweden vs Germany. Sweden?

        • Hugo

          jealous?

          By the way? What do you do between October and April?

          • guest

            nhl hockey. there is no sports off-season in the us.

  • ertelmetlen

    Brazil:::::::::::::
    Unfortunately I did not see their group stage games, but in the knockout rounds they were not impressive at all. There is a stereotype of South-American goalkeepers being sub-par, I think Barbara was very good. I can completely understand that the Brazil team relied on Marta being the best player in the world, but this approach was never going to work against top-tier opposition. It was ridiculous that she was dribbling the ball against 2-3 midfielders 50 meters from the goal.

    My favourite team of the tournament::::::::
    Australia. They were hands down the most fun team to watch. They have a wealth of talented players (Kellond-Knight is one of the most underrated female footballer) but Alen Stajcic is the MVP of the team. They completely outplayed Germany in their group-stage bout. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch their game against Brazil, but the young age of their team paints a bright future. Lydia Williams was the goalkeeper of the tournament.

    • ARED

      I agree -esp about Kellond-Knight! -although I think you may be a bit too harsh on Marta -as each game grew and it became clear they could not find space she began looking harder to find it. I thought Vadao has done a good job, but should have tried to find ways to get Marta on the ball in space -like from short corners for example. Without Cristiane, they had a lot of nice play, that was always a bit short of actually penetrating the defense.

      I also think Stajcic’s done quite well, but I thought some of his player movement and interchanging may have cost them a bit here as they maybe weren’t quite sure of what their actual best formation was against Brazil when they needed a goal. Although losing Catley being forced to play Kellond-Knight at left back put a massive hurdle for them to overcome (largely unmentioned), and they did quite well in general.

    • Steglitz49

      Australia benefit from their players coming to the US and play in the NWSL in their off-season. Likewise over the years good foreign players have gone down under to play in their off-season.

      We can expect Australia to get even better. It is worth being mindful that Australia has a population of 23-25m, that is the same as all the Nordic countries together. Canada is about 36m.

  • What a way for Silvia neid to end such an incredible career!

  • Steglitz49

    You could criticize Pia for not starting Stina Blackstenius. Stina showed against the US that she could play 100 minutes. That is the only question as regards team selection.

    • ARED

      There were a few other ones from the early matches on, but I’d have to look them up….but Blackstenius certainly made Sweden look much more dangerous in attack -and even just more capable of holding the ball.

  • Steglitz49

    Does anyone know what the viewing figures for this final was in the US?

    In Canada their bronze match most likely had some viewers but how many tuned in to the final?

    • Quest

      I couldn’t find it in the TV listings, but I’m glad I didn’t see Turdman win another bronze.

      • Steglitz49

        The only estimate I have seen is that 2.5m Swedes watched the final. That is about 28% of the population. The game was on a pay channel, not a public channel.

        28% of the US population is about 85m which >9x Sweden’s population. 28% of Canada is about 10m, a sliver more than Sweden’s.

  • John

    So when can we expect the weltmeister to come on and gloat?