Washington, D.C. – Germany ended England’s hopes of winning the SheBelieves Cup with a 1-0 win this afternoon at RFK Stadium behind the Germans first goal of the tournament, a 44th minute strike from veteran Anja Mittag.
Mittag was honored for earning her 150th cap before Germany’s first game of the tournament, a 1-0 loss to Americans, so perhaps it was fitting that the PSG forward was the player to secure the German win.
England came into this match needing a win to retain its hopes of claiming the silverware while the Germans were already out of the running. Other than Mittag’s goal there was little to separate the rivals in a tightly contested first half.
Each side had moments of dominance with England on top early, motivated no doubt by the opportunity to bring home the SheBelieves Cup. The German breakthrough came from a skillful passing sequence started by Sara Dabritz and finished when Lina Magull slipped her pass to an open Mittag in front of England’s goal.
Germany finished the SheBelieves Cup with a better record 1-1-1 but perhaps England will go home the slightly happier with 1-2-0, after beating the Americans at home in New Jersey in their second game of the event.
Germany will be happy to have finally ended a goalless run that eventually stretched to 224 minutes before Mittag mercifully ended the skein. Results aside, the two countries, and France as well, will have found this tournament good preparation for the Euros this summer.
The Netherlands are this years hosts, with Germany the defending champions. The Euro Championship runs from July 16-August 6 with a largest ever 16 nations set to compete.
Here are the groups.
A: Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium
B: Germany, Sweden, Italy, Russia
C: France, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland
D: England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal