The second row is respectable: the “living bench” makes the DFB team “overwhelming”

A forward who plays for the DFB as a right-back – and scores his first goal. For this 22-year-old, who first “shocks” his new position – and then also hits. The final group game of the European Championship with Finland offers time to play in the second row. And it delivers unique stories.

Forward as a right-back, center-back as left. It is not that the extremely positive atmosphere in the DFB women’s team was created at the request of the players of the national team. The national team coach, Martin Voss-Tecklenburg, still decides how to play. And she decided before the UEFA European Football Championship in England: Nicole Anyomi would like to retrain her as a right-back, Sophia Kleinherne is to play only in the left rear four.

It was a “shock,” said Kleinherne, but corrected it at the “Chance” press conference. “I accept this little challenge for myself,” said the 22-year-old and proved it in the third group game against Finland (3-0). The Eintracht Frankfurt woman made her debut in the starting XI and played a lot on the offensive, especially in an incredibly better early stage. In the 40th minute it was she who finally scored the compensating goal. DFB has already fired over ten shots on goal. It was Kleinherne’s first goal in a German jersey.

In the second half, Anyomi made her first appearance at this European Championship. adjustment period? This is not necessary for a 24-year-old. In the 48th minute she helped captain Alexandra Popp in the 2-0 transition, and in the 63rd minute she also scored her debut goal for Germany. “I waited a long time for the season. Now I finally got my chance,” said the “right-back”, who did not let the Finns break through in the position assigned to her, let them run into the void and show all her coolness. But at the same time, he had enough time to skillfully play his offensive urge. “I said to Thread this morning: my gut tells me you’re going to score,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.

“Very good feeling”

It was a good feeling, and so was the German team. Before the European Championship, he was said to be an outsider at best, no real chances for the title were credited to him, as a tough group headed by Spain and the reigning European runner-up Denmark, many feared even the early end. This does not apply to the Germans themselves, Kleinherne said confidently: “This is our claim and our goal to win the European Championship.” After three games with three wins and a 9-0 goal, many former critics now follow this line of thought. With the hosts England and France, Germany is suddenly one of the favorites.

This is also due to the harmony in the composition. “Living bank” – a term coined by Kleinherne – has been praised many times, the team spirit is great. Women still emphasize that they allow themselves to have fun. Almuth Schult, who was only a substitute goalkeeper after pregnancy, handed out drinking bottles, Laura Freigang screamed for 90 minutes against Denmark and Spain. She went to the bench against Finland for 76 minutes – she was allowed to play the last 14 minutes. “It means a lot to me.” As Sara Doorsoun also played against Finland for the first time – she did an incredibly solid and safe job in central defense – not only all the Frankfurt players played in the squad at the European Championship, but all the field players also had playing times in that tournament. “It feels very good,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.

“Of course there is something to complain about”

Of course, Finland was not a realistic indicator of the upcoming quarter-final challenge against Austria. After three defeats, they are eliminated from the tournament. However, the exclusions for Lena Oberdorf and Felicitas Rauch for yellow cards and the absence of a sick Lina Magull and the still positive Lea Schüller in the crown meant that changes in the starting eleven were necessary. There is also always a risk, as there is a risk of less than perfect coordination on the pitch or even a drop in performance. Not so in a German team. It’s time for the second row – which is actually a bit mischievous to call it that. Namely on the bench, this is where the luxurious Voss-Tecklenburg problem unfolds, which some colleagues from this European Championship may envy them. He can score the regular Bayern Linda Dallmann or the double Wolfsburg winner Lena Lattwein, has the storm jewel Jule Brand on the line. Even in the goal, there would be equivalent alternatives to Merle Frohms.

It is quite – sorry – German that Kleinherne did not want to be just happy despite his eleven debut, despite his first goal in DFB and despite his clear 3-0 victory. “First and foremost, victory is what counts,” she told ZDF. But: “Of course there is also something to complain about about this victory.” So the “box occupation” did not fit optimally, at the flanks the second pole was often unoccupied. “We decided to do more than we were ultimately able to achieve.” There are “little things” that can be important in cup matches. Her trainer was in a much more positive mood: “I didn’t think it was super brilliant today, but it was very, very serious. It was passionate again, ”said Voss-Tecklenburg. “Not everything went well today, but at the end of the day we’re in this group with nine points and a 9-0 goal.”

“We know that Germany is the supreme force”

This statistic is a pound that should at least inspire respect for upcoming opponents. “We know Germany is better and are doing very well at the moment,” said Austria coach Irene Fuhrmann. Many friends meet in a neighborhood match (Thursday, 9:00 pm / ARD, DAZN and in the live bar ntv.de). 13 players from the ÖFB team play in the Bundesliga. “It will be an interesting battle,” said Kleinherne. “I think it’s good that Austria is another rival. I find it exciting because many of them come from the Bundesliga, ”emphasized Dallmann.

Meanwhile, the Austrians are counting on a surprise effect. Few people counted on them in the quarter-finals, England and Norway were considered too strong. England confirmed this with three wins and 14-0 goals, but Norway lost and Austria seized the opportunity. “I can’t find words for this performance and the fact that we actually made it to the quarter-finals in this difficult group. The whole trip to this place was a great experience, ”said Fuhrmann. Barbara Dunst from Frankfurt gave herself to digging in Germany: “They were looking forward to a meeting with Norway. Now we’ve shown that some of us have to be reckoned with. Her teammate Julia Hickelsbeger-Füller, who has a contract with TSG Hoffenheim, agreed: “We will definitely show Germany who we are.”

Voss-Tecklenburg praised the Austrians and said: “We are looking forward to this neighborhood match. It won’t be a walk in either direction. ” But: “I still think we’re a slight favorite.” If only because of the “living bench” where you can still play football well.

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