GRENOBLE, France (Reuters) - Germany maintained their perfect women’s World Cup record by reaching the quarter-finals with another solid performance in a 3-0 win over Nigeria on Saturday, but they are looking for more.
The two-times champions have yet to concede a goal in four games and were almost always in control, even without key midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan who might be back for their next game against Sweden or Canada.
“Coaches are never 100% happy but that was a great performance and it’s fantastic to be in the quarter-finals,” Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg told a news conference.
“We’ve played four very tough matches in very different conditions, with the heat tough today, and we’ve dealt with all that very well.
“I’m very happy that we now have one week to relax and prepare for the quarter-finals. Part of that will be working on improving our performance in certain phases of the match, gaining more ground, becoming more confident and now allowing ourselves to get frustrated by small details.”
The Olympic champions have a week to prepare for next Saturday’s game at Rennes’s Roazhon Park, meaning Marozsan could have time to complete her recovery from a foot injury.
“I might even be able to come back. It will remain painful for weeks, but I am not scared,” the midfielder, the French league’s best player in the last three seasons, said.
“I probably cannot play an entire match but I was happy I was not needed today.”
There was obvious disappointment on the Nigeria side, but the African champions got a feel of the improvements they need to make to reach the top level.
“It’s important to play high-level teams like Germany because the players can see that even the smallest mistakes get punished,” their coach Thomas Dennerby said.
“But the second half was really good and now we just need to focus on improving and using all the FIFA dates to play matches. Because we have some really talented players back in Nigeria.”
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond