Wales 0-0 Germany: Relegated Wales hold Nations League group winners to shock draw

5 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Rachel RoweRachel Rowe struck the post for Wales in the first half

Wales produced by far their best performance of the Nations League as they secured a shock 0-0 draw with Germany at the Swansea.com stadium.

An excellent first-half display from Wales saw them create the better chances with Rachel Rowe striking the post with a left-footed effort.

Jess Fishlock and Sophie Ingle also came close for Gemma Grainger’s side.

The draw with Germany is one of Wales women’s greatest results as they deservedly held a top 10 ranked nation.

Germany’s disappointment at only drawing with Wales was stifled by the fact that they still won Nations League Group A3, with Iceland’s 1-0 win in Denmark securing Germany top spot on a night of surprises in a group that had previously been true to form and seeding.

Wales’ difficult campaign ended on a real high with a deserved point against one of the powerhouses of women’s football on a night of vindication for manager Grainger who has faced criticism after six successive defeats.

The 0-0 draw was all the more surprising considering it seemed likely there would be an element of damage limitation, given Wales’ task of facing a German side who had every incentive to get a positive result.

Germany had won all five previous encounters with Wales with an overall score of 39-1, while they could have scored several more than the five goals they struck past Wales in October in a 5-1 success.

The visitors were also seeking a victory to guarantee top spot in the group and a chance at Olympic qualification via a play-off, so a daunting game against the nation ranked sixth in the world was even tougher for 29th-ranked Wales.

Germany’s interim coach Horst Hrubesch has enjoyed great success since taking charge of a side that exited the World Cup in the group stage and lost away in Denmark in the Nations League.

Five successive victories, including a 3-0 thrashing of Denmark, has seen Germany take control of Group A3, so it was more than a little surprising that it was Wales who started the brighter side in Swansea and produced their best 45 minutes of the campaign.

Germany's Alexandra Popp shares a light-hearted moment with Rhiannon Roberts of Wales after the hosts' deserved drawGermany’s Alexandra Popp (left) shares a light-hearted moment with Rhiannon Roberts of Wales after the hosts’ deserved draw

The hosts, lining up with a 5-2-2-1 formation, did an effective job of pressing Germany high up the pitch and it was Wales who applied the early pressure.

Rachel Rowe twice burst forward from midfield, while striker Elise Hughes elected to cross when she should have shot.

Wales struck the woodwork on 16 minutes after another fine run by Rowe, whose shot bounced off the post on to goalkeeper Merle Frohms and wide.

Rowe was within a whisker of giving Wales the lead and it was 22 minutes until Germany mustered a chance as Jule Brand’s cross flashed across goal.

Wales looked resolute, however, and it was the hosts who fashioned another chance on 37 minutes when Frohms spilled Rowe’s corner, forcing Germany to clear Sophie Ingle’s shot off the line.

Sarai Linder fired just over as Germany threatened moments before the break, but Wales deservedly went into the interval level.

The onus was on Germany to take the game to Wales after the interval and they attempted to do just that, with Elisa Senss’ deflected effort expertly saved by Olivia Clark who tipped the ball wide at full stretch.

Wales remained a threat on the counter-attack and substitute Ceri Holland – the only Wales women’s player ever to score against Germany – fired over the bar with her first touch after coming on.

The visitors never seemed to get out of second gear compared with their home display against Wales, and Frohms saved from Fishlock’s dipping volley on 72 minutes as Grainger’s side sensed the chance to claim a historic victory.

Germany kept pushing for a winner, but Wales’ defensive unit held firm until time added on when Clark saved at full stretch to deny Klara Buhl.

Line-ups

Wales

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Clark
  • 16Estcourt
  • 5Roberts
  • 3Evans
  • 2WoodhamSubstituted forPowellat 64′minutes
  • 8James
  • 4Ingle
  • 13RoweSubstituted forHollandat 65′minutes
  • 6Green
  • 10FishlockSubstituted forMorganat 90+4′minutes
  • 15HughesSubstituted forGreenat 78′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1O’Sullivan
  • 7Holland
  • 9Green
  • 11Griffiths
  • 14Ladd
  • 17McAteer
  • 18Wynne
  • 19Powell
  • 21Middleton-Patel
  • 23Morgan

Germany

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Frohms
  • 17KrumbiegelSubstituted forGwinnat 45′minutes
  • 3HendrichSubstituted forPetermannat 81′minutes
  • 23Doorsoun
  • 2Linder
  • 22BrandSubstituted forAnyomiat 69′minutes
  • 5Senss
  • 6NüskenSubstituted forLattweinat 81′minutes
  • 19Bühl
  • 9HuthSubstituted forDallmannat 45′minutes
  • 11Popp

Substitutes

  • 4Kleinherne
  • 7Petermann
  • 8Lohmann
  • 12Berger
  • 13Däbritz
  • 14Lattwein
  • 15Gwinn
  • 16Dallmann
  • 18Anyomi
  • 20Magull
  • 21Johannes
Referee:
Iuliana Elena Demetrescu

Match Stats

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