Women′s World Cup: Germany sweep Nigeria aside to reach last 8 | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 22.06.2019
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Women's World Cup: Germany sweep Nigeria aside to reach last 8

Germany are still yet to concede a goal at the World Cup, having become the first team through to the last eight. There was VAR controversy again but it was ultimately a comfortable afternoon for Germany in Grenoble.

Germany 3-0 Nigeria, Stade des Alpes
(Popp 20', Däbritz pen 27', Schüller 82')

Germany booked their place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, seeing off Nigeria with three goals without reply and a little help from VAR.

Alexandra Popp, Germany's veteran striker, was making her 100th international appearance and marked the milestone with the opening goal, nodding in from close range after Sara Däbritz picked her out with an inswinging corner from the left.

VAR was used to confirm the legitimacy of that goal but, not for the first time in this tournament, it played an even bigger and more controversial part in Germany's second, which followed a few minutes later.

Germany's Lina Magull was caught by Evelyn Nwabuoku, whose follow-through caught Magull after the Nigeria defender brushed the ball. To the Nigerian players' confusion and consternation, the referee pointed to the spot after instruction from VAR. Däbritz powered home the penalty.

FIFA Frauen-WM 2019 | Deutschland v Nigeria | Drittes Tor (Reuters/D. Balibouse)

Lea Schüller's ice cold finish made it 3-0 late on

A scrappy second half ensued, with Nigeria coming within millimeters of halving Germany's lead when Desire Oparanozie couldn't quite connect with Rasheedat Ajibade's cross after a blistering run down the left.

Germany rubber-stamped the victory with eight minutes to play, when Lea Schüller pounced on a mix-up at the back between Halimatu Ayinde and goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie to guide the ball into the bottom corner, and Germany into the last eight.

Sweden or Canada await in the quarters and, with USA, France and England on the other side of the draw, Germany will be looking forward to welcoming back key midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan and making a run for the latter stages in France.

Marozsan looks set to return for that quarterfinal too, according to coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who also confirmed that Marozsan could have featured against Nigeria on Saturday if she was needed.

"Dzsenifer will be back in the quarterfinals. We won for her today so she can re-join the tournament," Voss-Tecklenburg said after the game. "We could have used Dzsenifer today if we needed her."

Supporters in Abuja both stoic and sad

DW correspondent Uwaisu Idriss took in the match with Nigerian fans in Abuja, who were able to watch first their women's defeat to Germany and then the men's Super Eagles' narrow opening win against Burundi in the Africa Cup of Nations.

"I felt very bad because as a female I thought Nigeria was going to come out with a good position, probably bring us the trophy," Zenith Abubakar told DW. "The only thing that brings Nigeria together is this football, so we feel very disappointed that we couldn't make it to the next round." 

However, Abudlhakeen Babtune saw the result rather differently to his countrywoman, saying he feared the worst as soon as the draw was set.

"At the end of the day, we are going to slip up, because it's always Germany who draw us back! Any time we meet Germany, we know we're coming back! We should now sit down and think: if we do meet them again, how can we win?"

As it happened:

90' FT Germany 3-0 Nigeria - It's all over! Germany have booked their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, seeing  off Nigeria in Grenoble.

87' The game is drifting towards an inevitable conclusion now. Germany, though VAR-assisted, have been worthy winners here.

83' That was ice cold from Schüller.

82' GOAL! Germany 3-0 Nigeria - Schüller scores! Game, set and match Germany. A dismal mix-up between the hesitant Ayinde and keeper Nnadozie allows Schüller to nip in, and she guides the ball into the bottom corner to rubber stamp the win. 

79' Chance for Däbritz, who only has Nnadozie to beat - but she drags her shot wide.

76' Ihezuo can't continue. She makes way for Uchendu. 

73' Cramp starting to affect a couple of Nigeria players now. Ihezuo needing some treatment. It's warm out there and they're playing at high altitude too.

69' Germany make their final change: Oberdorf on, Magull off.

66' Oparanozie and Hegering clash heads. That's a painful one and both will have to be assessed before they can continue.

63' Nigeria keeper Nnadozie being kept busy at the moment. Germany not creating anything clear cut, but they are pumping plenty of crosses into the box that she is being forced to catch, punch and, occasionally, flap at.

59' Gwinn goes for goal this time but her chip doesn't drop and sails over the bar. Best move of the second half by Germany.

56' Däbritz has a go from distance. It's ambitious but she gets a deflection and a corner out of it - but it's one that Nnadozie deals with easily.

FIFA Frauen-WM 2019 | Deutschland v Nigeria (Reuters/E. Foudrot)

Sara Doorsoun rises highest at a corner for Germany.

53' Germany struggling to make the ball stick at the moment.

50' Nigeria chance! Ajibade makes a blistering run down the left and showing Gwinn a clean pair of heels. Her cross tries to pick out Oparanozie at the far post but she is millimetres away from connecting, otherwise it was a certain goal. The closest Nigeria have come so far.

47' One change for Germany at the break: Klara Bühl is on for Melanie Leupolz.

46' SECOND HALF. We're back underway in Grenoble.

45' HT Germany 2-0 Nigeria - Germany comfortable at the break, but Nigeria were on the wrong end of that awful VAR call. Another one to add to the collection for this tournament.

44' Schüller bursts into space on the right and, for a moment, it looks very promising - but thankfully for Nigeria it comes to nothing. 

42' Huth goes for goal with an outlandish scorpion-style kick which squeaked wide. What a goal that would have been.

38' Okobi whips a ball towards the near post but Schuller is on the line to head away.

35' The fizz has gone out of the game as Germany seem happy to take a 2-0 lead in at the break and Nigeria are just waiting for the whistle.

30' Gwinn is booked for what one can only assume was dissent. It certainly wasn't for the foul that preceded it.

27' GOAL! Germany 2-0 Nigeria - Däbritz scores! Däbritz powers home the spot kick and Germany lead by two in Grenoble.

24' Germany penalty! This is a very controversial one as Germany are awarded a penalty for what appeared to be little more than an unfortunate coming together between Magull and Nwabuoku, whose follow through caught Magull after touching the ball. That is somehow given as a penalty and Germany have the chance to make it 2-0 from the spot.

FIFA Frauen-WM 2019 | Deutschland v Nigeria (Reuters/D. Balibouse)

Popp celebrates the opener, coming on her 100th appearance for Germany.

20' GOAL! Germany 1-0 Nigeria - Popp scores! The centurion puts Germany ahead with a simple header from close range, picked out by Däbritz's inswinging corner. After a nervy VAR check, the goal is given.

18' Another corner for Germany, which fails to clear the first defender. The game being played almost exclusively in Nigeria's half now, but the Germans haven't been able to find that little bit of quality with their final ball.

13' Germany like their training ground free-kick routines. The problem is, none of them have come close to working. Schweers again the waster-in-chief, spewing her cross beyond the waiting Schüller.

10' A short corner to Schweers is completely wasted as she hopelessly overhits her cross. But Germany starting to put the Nigerians under more pressure after an uncertain start.

7' Germany chance! A training ground free-kick routine doesn't go to plan, but Germany get a second bite at the cherry and Magull finds herself in a great position, but fails to get the ball out from under her feet, and Ohale gets across to make a fine block.

4' Germany goalkeeper Almuth Schult being kept busy in the early stages. A couple of balls into the box that she has been forced to deal with.

2' Ayinde forces an early corner for Nigeria, who have started as brightly as the weather in the Alps today. Germany deal with the ball in from the right and clear their lines.

1' KICK OFF! We're underway in Grenoble.

17:12 Germany are yet to concede a goal after their three opening group games.but only found their shooting boots in the final match against South Africa, winning 4-0. The side have certainly put the yards in thus far, stats show Germany have covered a combined average of 116.14 kilometers (72.1 miles) per game in the group stage. 

"That shows that everyone's running for each other and that we're in good shape," coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said.

17:10 Nigeria are through to the knockout phases for just the second time, and for the first since 1999, when they met defeat to Brazil in the quarterfinal. 

17:00 It's been a spectacular tournament so far, but one not short on controversy. Here are a few things we've learned so far.

16:50 Today's game marks the 100th in the international career of striker Alexandra Popp. You can read more here on her becoming the 26th German woman to reach the milestone. 

16:40 Nigeria line up as follows: Nnadozie, Okeke, Ebi, Ohale, Nwabuoku, Ayinde, Okobi, Ihezuo, Ordega, Oparanozie, Kanu.

16:35 Here's how the Germany XI looks...

16:30 Hello and welcome to live coverage of Germany vs Nigeria, the first game of the knockout stages at the World Cup. The line ups will be here any moment...

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