In a dress rehearsal for the European Championship, Germany's women came away with a confidence-boosting victory over Brazil. The only negative for Germany was a was a lapse in concentration from the goalkeeper.
"Better now than in the tournament," said Almuth Schult, the Germany goalkeeper after her failed attempt to dribble the ball out of her own goalmouth gifted Brazil's Ludmila their solitary goal in the final European Championship warm-up game in Sandhausen.
That strike temporarily gave Brazil hope at 1-1, cancelling out Linda Dallmann's opener for Germany, but Hasret Kayikci and Leonie Maier gave the record European champions a deserved victory.
"The team has produced a great performance," added Schult, relieved that her teammates were able to save her blushes.
The Brazilian women had to get by without superstar Marta and Germany coach Steffi Jones sensed an opportunity, fielding a number of small, bustling attacking players who caused Brazil problems all game.
This could prove to be the formula that Jones falls back on when Germany open their European Championship campaign against the defensively compact Swedes. "We don't want to test any more. We want to play properly, "Jones had announced before kickoff.
Germany dictated the game in the first half and created several good chances, two of them falling to Kayikci and others to captain Dzsenifer Marozsan and Dallmann. But the intention was a clear reaction to Jones' pre-game rallying call.
Things get serious next Wednesday when Germany arrive at their training base in Sint-Michielsgestel, south of 'S-Hertogenbosch. In the preliminary round, Sweden (17 July in Breda), Italy (21 July in Tilburg) and Russia (July 25 in Utrecht) lie in wait for the Germans.