The German women's side is getting ready for its first knockout game of the World Cup - against Sweden on Saturday in Ottawa. Captain Nadine Angerer expects the Scandinavians to be looking for revenge.
Ahead of Germany's round of 16 match against Sweden in Ottawa, the 2007 World Champions say they won't be under-estimating their opponents. This, despite the Scandinavian side's poor showing in the tournament so far.
"I expect a real challenge, and a close match - our chances are 50-50," said captain and team goalkeeper Nadine Angerer ahead of the match on Saturday. "But we have the quality to win against Sweden."
"They haven't shown what they are capable of yet, but they had a tough group. We're not fooled by that," Angerer added.
Sweden, who finished third at the Women's World Cup in Germany in 2011, has played out three draws so far in Canada and has only just progressed through to the next stage of the tournament, as one of the four best third-placed teams in the group stage of the tournament.
Angerer says she expects Sweden to be particularly motivated for the game on Saturday though, after Germany knocked the Swedes out of the 2013 European Championships in front of their home crowd. "They will come to the game with a lot of anger in their bellies."
'This is where the World Cup begins'
Sweden and Germany have played against each other 24 times on the international stage so far, in what is traditionally a high-quality fixture. The DFB side has been victorious on 17 occasions, while Sweden has managed just 7 wins. Not one of the games has ended in a draw.
"This is where the World Cup really begins," according to Germany's national team coach Silvia Neid. "Whatever has been good or bad so far, it's not important any more."
Germany defender Annike Krahn says that her team will be looking to play better than they did in the last group stage match against Thailand. "We have to be set up better defensively, and play with more purpose in attack. We have to think and act faster too."
Germany's match against Sweden is the only round of 16 fixture on Saturday. The other knockout games will take place between Sunday and Wednesday.
sn/al (dpa, SID)