Steffi Jones under pressure after Iceland embarrass Germany′s women | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 20.10.2017
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Steffi Jones under pressure after Iceland embarrass Germany's women

Until recently, Germany's women's football team were all but untouchable. Then came a shock Euro 2017 exit and the embarrassing home defeat to Iceland on Friday which breaks a 26 game unbeaten World Cup qualifying run.

A weakened Germany succumbed 3-2 to an Iceland side who sit 17 places below them in the FIFA rankings and have never qualified for a World Cup.

Steffi Jones' hosts fell behind early when Iceland's Dagny Brynjarsdottir headed in after 15 minutes. Despite a labored display from the hosts, Wolfsburg's Alexandra Popp leveled before the break. But quickfire goals from Elin Metta Jensen and another from Brynjarsdottir were enough to finish the two-time World champions off despite a late consolation from debutant Lea Schuller.

The loss means Iceland leapfrog Germany in the group 5 standings, despite having played a game fewer - only the team top of the group qualifies automatically for the 2019 World Cup in France.

Coming less than three months after Germany's shock exit to Denmark in the quarterfinals of the Womens Euros, the latest setback puts Jones, who replaced World Cup and Olympic gold-winning coach Silvia Neid in August 2016, under considerable pressure. 

The 44-year-old, who signed a new contract in August despite the failure, didn't hold back on the performance of her players in Wiesbaden.

"It's impossible that such simple methods are imposed against us and we have so little resistance against them. We didn't show enough willingness to run, nor did we have the right posture. We have to change our attitude, otherwise we won't get back to winning ways. Simple mistakes led to the goals we conceded today, and that created uncertainty."

Her captain Babbett Peter also identified the same issue. "As a team we are very disappointed," she said. "We were overawed by their physical presence which, as Germany, we shouldn't allow."

Jones will again be without several key players, including Dzsenifer Marozsan, Sara Däbritz, Kristin Demann and Carolin Simon for her side's next match - against the Faroe Island in a qualifier next Tuesday. That fixture shouldn't pose too many problems, but the return match in Iceland next September is shaping up to be a crunch match that few expected.

mp/jh (dpa,SID)

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