FIFA Women's World Cup™ holders Germany meet African champions Nigeria in Frankfurt on Thursday evening, and although it is only the second match for both nations, there is already plenty at stake. The hosts are hoping to continue riding the wave of euphoria currently sweeping the nation, but the Super Falcons urgently need a good result to make up for their poor start to the tournament. Last year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup provided an appetiser for Thursday evening's clash, as the German juniors beat their Nigerian counterparts 2–0 in the final. The meeting between the seniors could well be decisive in determining the final Group A outcome.
The teams approach Thursday's clash in contrasting moods. Heartened by their 2–1 opening-day victory over Canada, and guaranteed the support of another huge and partisan home crowd, the Germans will be brimming with confidence as they pursue a second victory and top spot in the group. On the other hand, the Nigerians’ 1–0 defeat to France in their first match means they must go in search of points against the favourites for the trophy. That should make for an exciting game, as Ngozi Uche’s team cannot afford simply to defend and hope to come away with a draw.
Birgit Prinz and company thrashed the Nigerians 8–0 on a bitterly cold November evening in Leverkusen last year, on a night when pretty much everything went right for the home team. Nevertheless, Silvia Neid and her players know they will face far more motivated opponents this week. The Super Falcons are a robust, dynamic team always capable of putting their opponents under pressure, whereas the Germans will be looking to improve on their display in the Opening Match, after Neid expressed dissatisfaction with her team's passing in the meeting with Canada.
13 - No other player at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 scored as many goals in qualifying for the finals as Perpetua Nkwocha. The 35-year-old midfielder found the net on 13 occasions.
"I think we'll see a very different Germany against Nigeria. We'll impose our authority on the match from the start until the end, and that'll give us a good chance of the three points," Germany defender Saskia Bartusiak
"We certainly have a chance of making the World Cup Final, and maybe even winning it," Nigeria keeper Precious Dede