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Germany ran out comfortable 5-0 winners in their penultimate world cup warm-up game against the Netherlands at the New Tivoli stadium in Aachen to further justify their status as favourites for the upcoming world cup.
Silvia Neid’s side came into the game on the back of a 5-0 win over Italy on Friday, and with just 19 days to go until the start of the tournament, she made three changes as Bianca Schmidt, Fatmire Bajramaj, and Celia da Mbabi replaced Linda Bresonik (hamstring), Melanie Behringer and Inka Grings.
The game was expected to be a tough challenge for the world cup hosts, but proved to be as comfortable as the Italy game, making it difficult for a side who had scored just twice against Germany in 10 previous outings.
The hosts quickly settled into an expansive attacking rhythm against a compact Dutch outfit and should have taken the lead on 12 minutes when Okinoyo da Mbabi was able to get a header on goal, but Loes Geurts saved well to her left.
Unfazed, the Germans continued their assault on Geurts’ goal, and opened the scoring just three minutes later as captain Birgit Prinz dropped into the middle of the park, and fed a perfect ball through the middle to Okinoyo da Mbabi who slotted the ball low to Geurts’ left to score in her third successive game.
Roger Reijner’s side lost composure against the confident Germans who continued to boss the game, but lacked a clinical finish in front of goal as Prinz and Okinoyo da Mbabi wasted chances to extend their lead.
With half time approaching, the Netherlands came close to an equaliser as Manon Melis took advantage as Annike Krahn misjudged a ball forward, but her attempt to lift the ball over Nadine Angerer only found the goalkeeper’s hands.
Two minutes later, Germany increased their lead as Prinz goalbound shot was deflected, and as the Dutch defence failed to clear, the ball fell to Laudehr who moved into the box and curled a sublime left-footed shot high to Geurts’ right.
The game was almost wrapped up before half time as Okinoyo da Mbabi again came close, but her headed shot was cleared off the line by Dyanne Bito.
With twelve substitutions in the second half, the game lost its fluidity, but that failed to subdue neither the 11,100-strong crowd nor Germany, who again looked stronger and quicker than their opponents, who conceded several cheap fouls as they tried to keep up with their European neighbours.
A Behringer free-kick on 59 minutes, and a Kim Kulig shot from inside the box which blazed wide five minutes later were the best chances in the first half of the second half as Germany again showed signs of mental fatigue.
Alexandra Popp, on at the start of the second half for Prinz, scored her third goal in two games Kulig sent her through the Dutch defence on 71 minutes, rifling a left-footed shot past Geurts who tried to narrow the angle, but looked foolish as the ball flew past her outside her six-yard box.
If the game wasn’t already over, it was just four minutes later, as the Dutch defence imploded, and Kulig joined the party following a scramble in the penalty, firing the ball past a helpless Geurts from inside the six-yard box.
In the closing stages of the game, it was a case of how many goals for the Germans, with any desire for the Dutch to play eradicated, and Inka Grings curled a right-footed free-kick in off the inside of Geurts’ left-hand post as the Germans secured their second successive 5-0 win, with even more to come from the defending world champions.
Germany’s impressive training camp continues, with their final warm-up game against Norway to follow in Mainz on June 16, ahead of their opening world cup game against Canada in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on June 26.
Germany: Angerer; Schmidt, Krahn (Goeßling 45), Bartusiak, Peter; Kulig, Laudehr (Hingst 62); Garefrekes (Grings 46), Bajramaj (Behringer 46); Prinz (Popp 46), Okoyino da Mbabi (Müller 76).
Netherlands: Geurts; Bito (Stentler 46), Meulen (van Es 88), van den Berg, Hogewoning (van den Heiligenberg 46); Hoogendijk, Slegers (de Ridder 65), Spitse; Smit (Brummel 76), Melis, Pieete (van de Ven 46).
Goals: Okoyino da Mbabi 15, Laudehr 43, Popp 71, Kulig 75, Grings 87.