Women's Nations League: "Dream Olympics" soon to be over? DFB women miss a chance against France

After a bitter lesson in Lyon, the German footballers missed their first Olympic chance.

Women's Nations League: "Dream Olympics" soon to be over? DFB women miss a chance against France

After a bitter lesson in Lyon, the German footballers missed their first Olympic chance. The team of interim national coach Horst Hrubesch lost 1:2 (0:2) to France in the semifinals of the Nations League.

In front of 30,267 spectators in the Groupama Stadium, the DFB players conceded two goals shortly before half-time from Kadidiatou Diani (40th minute) and Sakina Karchaoui with a penalty kick (45th minute) - Giulia Gwinn's converted hand penalty (82nd minute) came too late.

Since the French are automatically qualified as Olympic hosts, the German national team still has one last opportunity to qualify for the Summer Games in Paris (July 26th to August 11th). To do this, the European vice-champions would have to win next Wednesday's game for third place in the Nations League against the Netherlands, which lost 3-0 to Spain in the other semi-final. The game is played in Heerenveen.

The German soccer players won gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, but then missed the games in Tokyo. Six months after the World Cup debacle in Australia, it would be another bitter setback for the German Football Association if things don't work out with Paris either.

In addition, Hrubesch's mission would then be over and the DFB, whose president Bernd Neuendorf was sitting in the stands in Lyon, would have to quickly present a successor. Hrubesch suffered his first defeat in his 13th international match as head coach.

Alexandra Popp and Svenja Huth were the only participants in the 2016 final to be in the starting line-up against the team third in the FIFA world rankings. Sara Däbritz from Olympique Lyon sat on the bench for the first half. As Hrubesch announced, Wolfsburg's Popp and Bayern striker Lea Schüller formed the dual leadership - there was a gap in the attacking midfield from the start.

Captain Popp had loudly urged her teammates in the circle before kick-off about the big task: "In everything we do, we push ourselves because we need it. For every moment, for every second and for victory, and for the dream of the Olympics . Here we go!"

The French initially appeared more nimble and quick to think in an intense exchange of blows. Goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin let a cross from Sarai Linder slip through her fingers - and Popp headed wide for the first time after a quarter of an hour. The DFB players bit into the game. Klara Bühl took a dangerous shot twice.

But the goals came on the other side: Schüller cleared a free kick with his head at the feet of Diani - and the outstanding striker from Olympique Lyon shot straight into the bottom right corner. After the injured defender Marina Hegering lost the ball, Lena Oberdorf brought Grace Geyoro off her feet in the penalty area. During Karchaoui's penalty kick, goalkeeper Merle Frohms had her hand on the ball, but it ended up in the net.

By bringing in Däbritz, Jule Brand and Sydney Lohmann in the second half, Hrubesch tried to turn the game around. Popp initially missed the connection by hitting the crossbar, which Gwinn then took care of with a penalty. The ball had previously bounced to Amandine Henry's hand, as the video evidence revealed.

In the final phase, the Germans pressed for the 2-2, especially Popp, who failed with a free kick from Peyraud-Magnin. Hrubesch vehemently directed his team forward again, but Jule Brand and Nüsken's attempts also rushed over the goal in five minutes of stoppage time.