The visibly relieved German footballers had just finished their lap of honor in front of the celebrating fans when the question of the national coach came up again.
“Of course we need clarity as to exactly what will happen next,” said captain Alexandra Popp after the well-deserved 4-0 (2-0) against Iceland, with which the DFB selection kept its chance of taking part in the Olympics. In the first victory in the Nations League, assistant Britta Carlson was once again on the bench instead of the ill Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
It is uncertain whether the 55-year-old will return for the important games in October. “We will enter into an exchange with the DFB,” announced Popp. The "Bild" newspaper speculated about the former successful U21 coach Stefan Kuntz as a possible successor to Voss-Tecklenburg, with whom the German selection had dramatically failed at the World Cup in the summer. “I have no information about that,” said a DFB spokeswoman.
Bold and aggressive appearance
In the first home game since Australia's World Cup debacle, the strong Klara Bühl (19th minute and 78th), Giulia Gwinn (35th/penalty kick) and Lea Schüller (68th) scored the goals in front of 14,998 spectators in Bochum. Four days after the disappointing 2-0 loss in Denmark, the European vice-champions appeared much braver and more aggressive. However, the three points were sorely needed: only the group winners qualify for the final round, where only two tickets for the 2024 Olympics in Paris will be awarded.
“Today the knot broke,” said goalscorer Gwinn on ZDF. "You felt life in the team again, it just feels good." “A burden” has been lifted from every player. “We want to build on the performance,” said the 24-year-old, who dedicated her penalty goal to her parents.
A little later it was again about Voss-Tecklenburg, whose illness was reported by the association on September 8th and whose contract runs until 2025. Carlson had already stated that she did not want to be a head coach. "I can't say anything about that because that's not in my hands either. Of course we all want there to be clarity," she answered when asked whether she would still be there next time.
The state of limbo has recently visibly put a strain on the team. Goalkeeper Merle Frohms, who was almost unemployed this time, called for a solution “as quickly as possible”. A clear commitment from players for Voss-Tecklenburg, which had been criticized internally during the World Cup analysis, which has not yet been completed, has so far been missing. A decision is expected before the games on October 27th in Sinsheim against Wales and on October 31st in Iceland. The position in the sports directorate for the women's selection is also vacant.
Gwinn converts the penalty
The Icelanders, who had won 1-0 against Wales at the start, played without the ailing Wolfsburg striker Sveindís Jónsdóttir and posed virtually no threat to score. Captain Glódís Perla Víggósdottir from FC Bayern Munich had to direct her defense loudly: the DFB women started the game visibly more aggressively than last in Viborg. Gudny Arnadottir almost scored an own goal with his header, then Bühl scored from 20 meters from the right.
After the winger missed another great chance, Lattwein's legs were pulled away in the penalty area. Gwinn converted the penalty in her first starting eleven for the national team since tearing her cruciate ligament almost a year ago. Even after the break, the German women kept up the pressure. Substitute Schüller increased her remarkable tally to 33 goals in 52 international matches with a header before Bühl scored again.