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'Germany will crack England': top coach

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'Germany will crack England': top coach
Star striker Celia Sasic. Photo: DPA
14:34 CEST+02:00
The manager of European champions FFC Frankfurt told The Local he expects Germany to beat England in the third place play-off in the Women's World Cup, and predicted his protege Celia Sasic will grab a goal or two.

“They know that the nation is watching and expecting. England will be a tough nut to crack, but I think they'll crack them in the end,” said Frankfurt coach Colin Bell, who steered his club to a 4th Champions League trophy in May.

Bell said that he and others been critical of the national team's form during parts of the World Cup, but said he expected them to use that as motivation.

“The German team want to prove the 'so-called experts' wrong,” said the Englishman.

Germany will face England in Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium after crashing out of the tournament with a 2-0 loss against the USA in the semifinals, which ended Germany's bid for a record third title after 2003 and 2007.

Bell coaches Germany's star player and the tournament's top scorer Celia Sasic at club level and expects her to be a thorn in the side of the lionesses.

Sasic was riding high with six goals so far in the tournament, including two penalties against France in the quarter-finals, but missed from the spot against the United States. 

The Frankfurt striker has since been named on the eight-woman short-list for the Golden Ball award for the tournament's top player along with England's Lucy Bronze.

“I'd say she'll be even more motivated,” said Bell. “She has a strong character and she was very disappointed with her [penalty] miss. I think she'll be doing everything she can to score a couple of goals.”

“I always expect her to score and I'm sure she'll be up for it. She has a great chance to be top scorer – and that'd make her top scorer in the Bundesliga, in the Champions League and in the World Cup in the same season.”

If Germany can can control the final third and play balls between England's two central defenders “she'll be there,” he warned.

Germany camp stay united

The German camp refused to blame Sasic's penalty miss for their defeat.

"Celia will have gotten over it by Saturday, there are always ups and downs in sport," said coach Silvia Neid.

"The English girls have shown during the tournament that they are a good team," said centre-back Annike Krahn.

"They were unlucky to lose in injury time to the defending champions, but despite the defeat they'll be confident.

"We are taking the disappointment and blame for the defeat together," added midfielder Melanie Leupolz.

With AFP

 

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