Germany celebrated their passage to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2010 being held in their own country with a 3-1 victory over a Columbia side who still retain hope of following them into the last eight.
The host nation were without key defender Bianca Schmidt following her red card in the first game but it made no difference to their approach as they put their opponents under immediate pressure, especially from the wide positions. Two headers inside the first six minutes, from Stefanie Mirlach and then Svenja Huth signalled their intent. Both followed accurate deliveries from Dzsenifer Marozsan.
More than 15,000 spectators had turned up to cheer on the German youngsters and they only had to wait until the 21st minute for the opening goal - and again it came from Alexandra Popp, who scored twice in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica. This time Popp received the ball just inside the opponents’ area on her chest and wasted no time before firing her shot into the far corner.
Colombia’s first chance arose in the 34th minute but goalkeeper Almuth Schult proved equal to Ana Maria Montoya’s shot. It gave the South Americans more confidence and they enjoyed a larger share of possession without threatening the goal.
The Germans showed their ruthlessness again after the break when Popp delivered an accurate pass to Sylvia Arnold and the midfielder scored comfortably from close range to make it 2-0. That then became three in the 55th minute. Colombia failed to clear a corner and Marina Hegering drove it home from 11 metres.
It was comfortable for Maren Meinert’s team but they were punished for switching off eight minutes from the end when substitute Melissa Ortiz, put through by Carolina Arias, made it 3-1. There was almost a second as Colombia kept the pressure on and Ortiz hit the post from close range after Lady Andrade had demonstrated her skills by dribbling past Marith Priessen.
Germany wrap up their group campaign against France in Augsburg on Tuesday while Colombia will play Costa Rica in Dresden on the same day. France, on four points, will be favourites to join Germany in the next stage but an emphatic victory for Colombia might push their own claims.