U.S. Falls to Germany 3-0 in Semifinal of Women's World Cup
PORTLAND, Ore. (Oct. 5, 2003) – The U.S. Women’s National Team failed to advance to the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 after falling 3-0 to Germany in front of a 27,623 fans at PGE Park. The U.S. will meet the loser of Sweden/Canada in the third place match at the Home Depot Center on Oct. 11, at 3:25 p.m. ET (ABC and TeleFutura). The U.S. will remain in Portland to train before traveling to Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 8.
“I was extremely pleased with how we played,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs. “We played well for 70 minutes and I thought we’d tie the game, but that’s how the game of soccer goes. It’s been a great journey. We’ve enjoyed it every step of the way.”
The final score didn’t mirror the play on the field as the U.S. dominated the game and gave up two goals in stoppage time of the second half as they pushed players forward in an attempt to send the game to overtime. The USA had 16 shots, but it was Germany that found the net, scoring the winning goal in just the 15th minute and on a header by Kerstin Garefrekes.
The loss was the first for the U.S. on American soil in either a Women’s World Cup or Olympics and tied the largest margin of defeat in U.S. history.
The U.S. was unable to find a way past German goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg, who was phenomenal the entire match and put in brave performance all over her penalty box to earn a clean sheet. Rottenberg covered every inch of the penalty area, picking off crosses and supporting her backline to clear through balls behind the defense.
The U.S. dominated play in the first half, putting the German defense on their heels with eight shots on goal, but ended up going into halftime down 1-0. Forwards Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm and Cindy Parlow kept Rottenberg active, constantly getting behind the German defense on the flanks to swing in dangerous crosses.
The U.S. defense did well to contain the German attack, which had scored 20 goals in their first four games of the Women’s World Cup. Despite being outplayed, Germany scored on their only shot of the first half, as Garefrekes flicked in a header off a corner kick in the 15th minute. Midfielder Renate Lingor served in the corner from the left side to Garefrekes, who redirected the ball just inside the near post, slicing the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
After the German’s goal, it looked like the U.S. would get the equalizer before half, but nothing bounced their way. Parlow dominated the right flank for the entire half, winning balls and getting around the German defense to serve up crosses into the area. Looking for Wambach in front of the goal, most of the crosses were swallowed up by Rottenberg, or headed away by defenders.
In the 26th minute, the U.S. got one its best opportunities of the night when Kristine Lilly unleashed a shot from 20-yards out. Her blast seemed destined for the back of the net, but Rottenberg left her feet and sprawled out to her right to snag the ball out of the air.
Two minutes later, Hamm had her first chance as Parlow sent her a nice ball into the penalty area, but defender Ariane Hingst was able to make a sliding tackle to keep Hamm’s one-timer from going on frame.
Hamm had another chance in the 34th minute, as Wambach led her with a ball up the middle into the penalty area. Hamm got behind the German defense and was left one-on-one with Rottenberg, who was able to knock the ball from Hamm’s feet as she tried to touch it around the keeper. With the ball loose, Hamm jumped to her feet and dropped it back to Lilly, but the midfielder’s shot was deflected out for a corner kick.
The last chance for the U.S. in the first half came in the 42nd minute as Wambach was almost able to sneak one past Rottenberg. After winning a ball on the right side, Parlow dribbled into the penalty area and drew two German defenders before dropping it to her right for Wambach. Wambach almost surprised Rottenberg by blasting a shot near post, but the ‘keeper was able to get down and knock it off frame.
In the beginning of the second half, Germany avoided what looked like a sure penalty kick when a cross by Julie Foudy hit the arm of German defender Stefanie Gottschlich, but no call was made.
The U.S. almost fell behind by two goals in the 53rd minute, but Briana Scurry came up with two magnificent saves to keep the deficit to just one goal. Birgit Prinz had the first chance with a point-blank header off a cross from the left flank, but Scurry was able to deflect it with her knee. On the rebound, Bettina Wiegmann’s header looked like it would clear Scurry, but the ‘keeper was able to slap the shot away with her right hand.
Just like Parlow in the first half, Hamm was continually running down the right flank to send in dangerous crosses. In the 60th minute, Hamm served up a ball for Wambach but Rottenberg was there to pick it out of the air. Five minutes later, Hamm looked for Wambach again on a corner kick, but Wambach’s header went over the goal.
Continuing to pressure for the equalizer, the U.S. subbed in Tiffeny Milbrett for defender Kylie Bivens in the 70th minute. Milbrett almost brought the U.S. instant dividends as she ran onto a chip near the top of the penalty area and brought the ball down out of the air before being taking down hard by the charging Rottenberg inside the penalty box. Once again, referee Sonia Denoncourt let play go on.
During the final 20 minutes, the U.S. kept pushing forward, but couldn’t get a shot on frame. In the 78th minute, Aly Wagner chested down a Wambach cross, but couldn’t collect the ball for a shot, instead dropping it back to Lilly. Lilly shot was deflected out of danger. A few minutes later, Wagner put in a shot of her own from 35 yards out as she tried to surprise Rottenberg. The shot bounced off Rottenberg’s chest, but she was able to cover it up.
With the U.S. pushing forward, Germany was able to get two goals in injury time with quick counter attacks. Drawing two defenders on the left side, Prinz found a wide-open Maren Meinert at the top of 18-yard box for the first goal. Meinert dribbled into the box and easily placed the ball past Scurry. A few minutes later, Meinert found Prinz wide open on a similar play. Prinz collected the ball inside the box, pushed the ball around on onrushing Scurry and placed the ball into the net for the final goal of the match.
This was the third time the U.S and Germany have met in the Women’s World Cup, and the second time they met in the semifinals. In 1991, the U.S. defeated Germany 5-2 on their way to winning their first Women’s World Cup title.
Match-up: USA vs. Germany
Competition: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003
Venue: PGE Park – Portland, Ore.
Date: Oct. 5, 2003; Kickoff – 4:30 p.m. PT
Attendance: 27,623 (sell out)
Weather: 60 degrees, cool
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
GER 1 2 3
GER – Kerstin Garefrekes 15th minute
GER – Maren Meinert 91st
GER – Birgit Prinz 93rd
USA: 1-Briana Scurry; 2-Kylie Bivens (16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 70), 4-Cat Reddick, 15-Kate Sobrero, 14-Joy Fawcett; 7-Shannon Boxx, 11-Julie Foudy – Capt., 13-Kristine Lilly, 9-Mia Hamm, 20-Abby Wambach, 12-Cindy Parlow (10-Aly Wagner, 52).
Subs not used: 3-Chrisite Pearce, 5-Tiffany Roberts, 6-Brandi Chastain, 8-Shannon MacMillan, 17-Danielle Slaton, 18-Siri Mullinix, 19-Angela Hucles.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs
GER: 1-Silke Rottenberg; 2-Kerstin Stegemann, 13-Sandra Minnert, 17-Ariane Hingst, 19-Stefanie Gottschlich; 6-Renate Lingor, 7-Pia Wunderlich, 10-Bettina Wiegmann-Capt., 18-Kerstin Garefrekes; 9-Birgit Prinz, 14-Maren Meinert.
Subs not used: 4-Nia Kuenzer, 8-Sandra Smisek, 11-Martina Mueller, 12-Sonja Fuss, 15-Nadine Angerer, 16-Viola Odebrecht, 20-Conny Pohlers.
Statistical Summary: USA GER
Shots 15 13
Shots on goal 6 5
Saves 2 6
Corner Kicks 10 5
Fouls 10 14
Offside 3 8
Referee: Sonia Denoncourt (CAN)
Referee Asst.: Denise Robinson (CAN)
Referee Asst.: Lynda Branble (CAN)
4th Official: Cristina Floarea Ionescu (ROM)