Fans in Edmonton have been treated to a ten-goal thriller between Germany and China PR that finished 5-5 at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014.
The goalfest began in the tenth minute when Rebecca Knaak sent a lovely long ball towards Germany’s Pauline Bremer, who took a great first touch to beat goalkeeper Lu Feifei and pass it into an open net, giving Maren Meinert’s side a dream start.
Germany continued to look the stronger side, though the Chinese were dangerous on the counter-attack and, five minutes before half-time, they found their equaliser. Tan Ruyin struck a bending ball that looked bound for the top corner, and though Meike Kaemper tipped her effort off the crossbar, Zhu Beiyan was first to the rebound and comfortably fired past Kaemper.
On the stroke of half-time, as the rain began to fall at a rapid rate, Sara Daebritz put the Germans ahead. Bremer found her alone in front of goal as the Chinese backline were caught out of position and the No13 took two touches toward goal before calmly slotting it the far corner.
After the interval, China quickly levelled after a loose pass in Germany’s midfield allowed Zhu to seek out Tang Jiali, who took a touch away from goal but then did tremendously well to shoot and beat Kaemper at the far post. Three minutes later, Theresa Panfil the Germans back ahead, scoring her country’s 100th goal at the U-20 Women’s World Cup – establishing them as the first nation to reach the century mark. Bremer played the ball back to the No11, who hit a cross-shot that glanced off the underside of the crossbar and into the net, leaving the Chinese backline and keeper Lu at a loss for words.
The Europeans' lead would only last a minute, however, as Lei Jiahui equalised after some more suspect defending allowed the No6 to go clean through on goal and finish past a helpless Kaemper. China would then take their first, and only, lead of the match ten minutes later from the penalty spot. Bremer was adjudged to have blocked a Chinese free-kick with her arm inside the area, leaving Zhu to score her second of the game with a calm finish into the bottom corner.
With 68 minutes played, Germany equalised thanks to a penalty of their own. After an initial effort had bounced back off the bar, Bremer was the first to the rebound, but her diving header was stopped by Zhong Xiudong‘s arm. Daebritz stepped up to score her second, slotting low and hard just inside the right-hand post to leave Lu with no chance.
The Germans once again took the lead to make it 5-4 after Lu could not hold Bremer’s cross. The goalkeeper’s punch landed in the middle of the area, where Panfil fired into the far corner to complete her brace. But just when it looked like Germany might be able to hold on to the lead, Zhang Chen scored after just two minutes after coming on as a substitute. Casual defending allowed Zhang to shoot toward the near post, and the shot slipped through the backline and past Kaemper.
With the score tied at 5-5, both teams finally hunkered down and looked to survive the final few minutes amid a deluge of rain. China’s Zhang Zhu nearly found the winner for Wang Jun’s side but her effort flashed wide of the mark. The result leaves Group B wide open, with Brazil and USA to face each other in Edmonton’s second match later on Friday evening.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Tan Ruyin (China PR)