A tough, physical battle at BC Place Wednesday night ended in a 2-1 win for Germany over Canada. 15,618 were on hand in Vancouver to see the home team take on one of the world’s best squads. Despite the score, fans saw a glimpse of the future, as youngster Jessie Fleming was a key part of the midfield and the youth in the back took another step toward understanding the senior side of the game.
Coaches from both teams spoke to the media after the game, as did a number of Canadian players, who were gracious with their time.
German head coach Silvia Neid on her side’s victory:
“I’m very satisfied with the performance of my team. We played out of good organization. We had good pressure against the ball and we created a lot of goal chances.
“I’m very happy with my team’s powerful match after a long season. I’m very proud of my team.”
Silvia Neid on the artificial surface at BC Place:
“We have to take it as it is. It doesn’t matter where you’re going to play, turf or grass. I said ‘just play football’. We have to be careful because the ball has a faster pace than on grass, so you have to consider some things.”
Canadian head coach John Herdman gives his thoughts on the match:
“I was really proud of some aspects of the performance. Probably, the only bit I was disappointed in was the last 15 minutes. When you’re trailing a goal down, you really have to go for it. I changed a few tactics to see if we could. With the work we have to do fitness-wise and more tactical work, a year out, 2-1 away from the European champions, a goal away, I’ll take that.
“Over 45 minutes, yeah, I think we were equal, if not as good as them. I think the second half it started looking a little bit ragged and just some errors. That was what it looked like. We can clean them up, no problem. If you’re talking about getting dominated, we weren’t dominated. They didn’t pin us into our half for 90 minutes. I think that’s a really positive performance.”
John Herdman on midfielder Jessie Fleming:
“This is a pretty exciting lineup if you look at a 16-year-old kid who comes in and she just looked as composed as I’ve seen any Canadian player. She rarely give the ball away. She looked to penetrate. She hung onto it and you really don’t see that in Canada too often.”
Rhian Wilkinson on suiting up with the youngsters:
“I just compare myself to where they are now when I was that age and it really blows my mind. They walked off the field disappointed, which I think is testament to them as players, but also to where we are going as a team. A 2-1 loss to one of the best team’s in the world isn’t good enough anymore.”
Rhian Wilkinson on the team’s mentality:
“We’ve made a conscious effort to just go at teams. We know that if we sit back and absorb pressure, we’ll maybe lose 1-0 or get a tie out of it. That’s not who we want to be anymore. That’s going to involve us pushing numbers forward. We are shifting as a team and we have some fantastic players in the offense and defense just getting the ball up there.”
Erin McLeod’s take on the game:
“I think Germany’s a great team, which was evident. I think for us, we struggled to find a rhythm, especially in the second half. I think it was a good challenge for us.
“It’s obvious we have to continue working on our attacking part of the game and keeping the ball. I felt like we gave the ball away a lot. Germany, to their credit, was extremely organized. For us, we’re just going to have to bring our game to a whole other level.”
Sophie Schmidt on how the match went:
“It was an exciting game. I thought that we played well, minus a couple of breakdowns that led them to some breakaways. I thought we executed what we wanted to. We got on the scoresheet. We had good momentum in the first half. We just have to find a way to keep that throughout the second.”
Sophie Schmidt on her shot finding the back of the net:
“I’d like to say that I perfectly planned that shot and that I placed it beautifully, but that’s probably not the truth. I’m just happy that it went in.”
About the author:
Sandra Prusina is a journalist and broadcaster based out of Calgary, Canada. She has covered women’s soccer since 2010. She’s also a segment reporter for Olympic Broadcast Services, traveling to Vancouver, London and Sochi to work for the host broadcaster.