Sunday 07 August 2016, 00:11

Germany comeback secures late draw against Aussies

Germany came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Australia in their second match in Group F at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016.

The European champions faced an uphill climb after first-half goals from Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord had the Matildas out to a two-goal lead, but a Sara Daebritz strike just before half-time and a late equaliser by Saskia Bartusiak saved Germany’s blushes in Sao Paulo.

Keen to bounce back from an opening day defeat to Canada, it was Australia that made an excellent start by taking a sixth-minute lead. Foord’s fine forward run allowed her to pick out Kerr with a pass on the left flank and the striker’s left-footed finish flew past Germany goalkeeper Almuth Schult to make it 1-0 to Alen Stajcic’s side.

The goal seemed to initially unsettle the Germans, but they worked their way back into the game with a series of chances shortly after the half-hour mark through Melanie Behringer and Anja Mittag. Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams, however, was equal to those efforts.

Australia remained a threat in attack, and after Katrina Gorry went close with a 40th-minute chance, the Matildas doubled their advantage just before the break through a neat finish from Foord. The striker converted a fine low cross from Lisa De Vanna after the Australia captain did well to take Kyah Simon’s forward ball and dribble past Germany defender Annike Krahn on the by-line, before finding Foord in front of goal.

However, just before the half-time whistle, Germany pulled a goal back through a fine finish from Daebritz. Alexandra Popp picked out the midfielder’s forward run with a smart pass and her lobbed effort over the head of Williams struck the underside of the crossbar, before nestling in the Australia net for a 2-1 score at half-time.

With the Sao Paulo crowd behind them, the Australians kept pressing forward after the break. Just after the hour mark, Schult was called upon to save a Foord breakaway before saving a fine strike from Matildas substitute Michelle Heyman.

Germany’s efforts to get back on level terms were limited in the second half, with Williams only called upon to save from Tabea Kemme in the 76th minute. However, Silvia Neid’s side finally drew level in the 88th minute.

Behringer’s free-kick from the left flank found Bartusiak at the far post and she was able to knock the ball into the Australia goalline to earn Germany a share of the spoils.

The result sees Germany sit second in Group F on four points, with Australia sitting in third with one point from two games played. On Tuesday, the Australians face winless Zimbabwe in Salvador, while Germany take on group leaders Canada in Brasilia.