Germany rally to defeat Lionesses in SheBelieves Cup

Sunday 06 Mar 2016
Fara Williams earned her 150th cap against Germany

Germany came from a goal behind to edge England Women 2-1 in the SheBelieves Cup in Nashville.

The European champions had trailed Toni Duggan’s ninth-minute header until the latter stages, before two goals in quick succession turned the game on its head.

With just under a quarter of an hour remaining, Gilly Flaherty inadvertently turned home Sara Däbritz’s low cross to make it 1-1.

England 1-2 Germany

The SheBelieves Cup
Sunday 6 March
Nissan Stadium, Nashville

And Babett Peter converted a debatable penalty just four minutes later to give Silvia Neid’s side all three points.

The result somewhat soured a milestone 150th England appearance for Fara Williams – and it was the midfielder who was adjudged to have tripped Alexandra Popp for the penalty.

For 76 minutes it looked like England had earned their second win over Germany in eight months, following their bronze medal success at Canada 2015 – but the late twist consigned them to an unfortunate defeat.

There were two changes to the team that lost 1-0 to USA on Friday, with Alex Scott replacing Lucy Bronze at right-back and Katie Chapman coming in for Jodie Taylor, as Sampson switched to a 4-5-1 formation.

It was Alex Scott’s 130th cap which puts her outright second on the all-time England appearance list – and it meant there was 280 caps worth of experience down the Lionesses’ right-hand side.

But it was from England’s left where the first chance of the match came, as the ball broke to full-back Alex Greenwood on the edge of the box, however the 22-year-old blazed her shot over the bar.

It wasn’t long before she made amends.

Her free-kick from the right was half cleared by the Germany defence, and her second attempt was much better as her in-swinging cross was glanced home by Duggan to give the Lionesses an early lead.

Toni Duggan (No19) celebrates after scoring against Germany at the SheBelieves Cup

Duggan (No19) celebrates her 15th England goal (ISI Photos)

Germany recovered and went on to create a number of half chances. Isabel Kerschowski and Dzsenifer Marozsan fired over from outside the box while Melanie Behringer hit a shot straight at Karen Bardsley before Popp headed into the keeper’s arms.

Their best chance of the half went to Kerschowski after Bardsley spilled a right-sided cross. The ball fell to the Wolfsburg midfielder but her close-range prod was deflected over by Steph Houghton.

Demi Stokes crashed an effort of her own over the top and Chapman headed a free-kick wide as England countered the German pressure.

Neid made a number of changes after the break in an attempt to find a way back into the game, but for all their possession, her side failed to create many clear-cut chances, save from the two goals.

Jill Scott tested Laura Benkarth with an effort from range and namesake Alex Scott headed a Stokes cross just wide before it all went horribly wrong for England.

Däbritz collected a throw-in inside the box, turned and delivered a low cross which Flaherty tried to clear, but she only managed to deflect the ball beyond Bardsley at the near post.

And things went from bad to worse just four minutes later when Williams was adjudged, somewhat harshly, to have tripped Popp inside the box.

Ekaterina Koroleva pointed to the spot and Peter converted the spot-kick low to Bardsley’s right.

England’s final match of the SheBelieves Cup is against France, who lost 1-0 to USA earlier in the day, in Boca Raton on Wednesday night (10pm GMT).

England (4-5-1): 1 Karen Bardsley (Manchester City); 12 Alex Scott (Arsenal), 5 Steph Houghton (C; Manchester City), 6 Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), 3 Alex Greenwood (Liverpool); 4 Fara Williams (Arsenal), 7 Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), 8 Jill Scott (Manchester City), 17 Katie Chapman (Chelsea), 11 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 19 Toni Duggan (Manchester City).

Substitutes: 10 Karen Carney (Chelsea) for Greenwood 70, 15 Casey Stoney (Arsenal) for Flaherty 79, 22 Fran Kirby (Chelsea) for Duggan 82, 23 Gemma Davison (Chelsea) for Nobbs 83.

Substitutes not used: 2 Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), 9 Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns), 13 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), 14 Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), 16 Laura Bassett (Notts County), 18 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), 20 Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), 21 Carly Telford (Notts County).

Goal: Duggan 9

Booking: Flaherty 21

Head coach: Mark Sampson

Germany: 12 Laura Benkarth, 2 Josephine Henning, 3 Saskia Bartusiak (C), 7 Melanie Behringer, 8 Kathrin Hendrich, 9 Mandy Islacker, 10 Dzsenifer Marozsan, 15 Anna Blässe, 17 Isabel Kerschowski, 18 Alexandra Popp, 22 Tabea Kemme.

Substitutes: 20 Lena Goeβling for Behringer ht, 23 Sara Däbritz for Maroszan ht, 14 Babett Peter for Henning 53, 4 Leonie Maier for Kemme 65.

Substitutes not used: 1 Almuth Schult, 5 Annike Krahn, 6 Lina Magull, 11 Anja Mittag, 16 Svenja Huth, 19 Lena Petermann, 24 Sara Doorsoun.

Goals: Flaherty (og) 76, Peter 82

Bookings: Däbritz, Maier

Head coach: Silvia Neid

Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva

Attendance: 25,363

By Glenn Lavery at the Nissan Stadium, Nashville