A single goal scored by Lena Petermann in overtime earned Germany the 2014 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup crown in Montreal Sunday, edging out Nigeria 1-0.
“Today, we had enough opportunities to win this match in the first half alone,” said Nigerian head coach Peter Dedevbo in a press conference. “But while we had chances and didn’t take them, Germany had one chance and took it. That’s the nature of football.”
Petermann’s goal wasn’t an easy one to muster, as the Super Falconets lived up to their reputation, using physical strength and speed to overwhelm the Germans and cut short any chances.
But, in true German fashion, they kept their cool and stayed diligent in the pursuit, all while goalkeeper and player of the match, Meike Kamper boldly stood up to tournament top scorer Asisat Oshoala.
Oshoala, though able to outrun defenders and make the German back line sweat, was unable to capitalize on her chances, falling short at the last crucial second.
She fumbled an early opportunity 22 minutes in, going one-on-one with Kamper but missing the mark and shooting into the side of the net. Then, seven minutes before the break, she lost another chance, receiving a great ball from Chiwendo Ihezuo at the byline and firing wide.
The Germans weren’t too far behind the Nigerians, also failing to finish their chances. Nigeria outshot them 16-15, and with the struggle to find the back of the net on either side, regulation would end 0-0 and push into overtime.
Pauline Bremer initiated the battle that would render the winning goal. Left-back Gladys Abasi had the ball, but Bremer was able to steal it and race towards goal, cutting back at the perfect moment to deliver the ball at Petermann’s feet. The German forward wasted no time in drilling in a six yard shot to take the Championship title.
“Every one of my girls put in 100 per cent and the win, in my opinion, is definitely deserved,” German head coach Maren Meinert said in a press conference. “We showed again today that we are strong physically and that has a lot to do with our fitness coach. But it also has a lot to do with our players’ mentality as they want to give everything until the very last minute. They know it hurts in the last 20 minutes but they keep going anyway, and today our physical strength towards the end of the match was definitely a factor.”