Germany’s women score 10 in World Cup opener

In their opening match of the Women's World Cup, Germany hit top form right from the off to beat the dreadful Ivory Coast 10-0 in Ottawa. It was only the second-biggest win in World Cup history, but not a bad way to get the ball rolling.

Germany's women score 10 in World Cup opener
Germany's women celebrate the goal-fest. Photo: DPA

Germany are ranked the best team in the world, and the Ivory Coast are the lowest ranked side in the tournament (67) so the gulf in class was no surprise.

The crowd of 20,000 fans at the Lansdowne Stadium in Ottowa didn’t have to wait long for the avalanche of goals. The minnows received a baptism of fire, as giants Germany made it 1-0 within the first three minutes.

A first half hat-trick from Celia Sasic and two more from Anja Mittag put the Germans 5-0 up at the break.

The miraculous Ivory Coast comeback did not materialize and they leaked another five goals in the latter stages as their players tired while Germany cantered to a crushing victory.

The Ivory Coast goalkeeper in despair as Germany pile on the misery. Photo: DPA

The tournament features a new format this year with 24 teams instead of 16, so the higher number of weaker teams means that this kind of result was almost inevitable.

But to score ten in an opening match is still an incredible feat.

“We had the right attitude. Now it looks as if the Ivory Coast weren't good enough, but going 1-0 up inside three minutes was incredibly important in crushing their spirit,” said team coach Silvia Neid at the final whistle.

The tournament has caused controversy by deciding to use artificial turf, which met resistance from lots of the teams.

Before the start of the tournament Neid said that “Artificial turf is totally new territory. We’ve noticed that you can’t play so much on the run, but have to pass much more to feet.”. She will therefore be especially pleased with the outstanding display by her players.

The controversial artificial turf. Photo: DPA

Germany next play Norway, who also comfortably won their first match against Thailand 4-0, on Thursday.  

The tournament organizers will be pleased about the goal-fest the fans were treated to, but the gulf in class could be a worry. What they will want to see is high quality, competitive football. Otherwise the decision to extend the tournament to 24 will come into question.

A record one billion TV viewers are expected to tune in to the finals in 187 different countries, a clear sign of the strides the women's game is making internationally.

Germany are one on the main tournament favourites, and they have become used to the sweet taste of success having won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007, and the last six European Championships.

This particular group of players will be even more desperate to take the trophy home after losing to eventual winners Japan in the quarter finals of their home tournament in 2011. 

By Matty Edwards

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German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

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Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

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