#WorldCupAtHome: Angerer backstops Germany into the history books
#WorldCupAtHome continues today with Germany-Brazil from China 2007
Germany became the first team to retain the FIFA Women’s World Cup
Tune in on Monday 27 April from 20:00 CET
For as long as football has been played, there have been genuine game-changers who are capable of stepping it up a level in the decisive moments of matches. And when the pressure was really on, Birgit Prinz held her nerve where Marta could not, and Germany became the first team to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ twice in a row.
Germany 2-0 Brazil 30 September 2007 | Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai (CHN)
Goals: Birgit Prinz (52’), Simone Laudehr (86’)
Germany: Nadine Angerer – Kerstin Stegemann, Ariane Hingst, Annike Krahn, Linda Bresonik – Melanie Behringer (Martina Muller, 74’), Renate Lingor, Simone Laudehr, Kerstin Garefrekes – Sandra Smisek (Fatmire Bajramaj, 80’), Birgit Prinz (c)
Brazil: Andreia – Elaine, Aline (c, Katia, 88’), Tania (Pretinha, 81’), Renata, Daniela, Formiga, Maycon, Marta, Cristiane, Ester (Rosana, 63’)
Germany got their China 2007 campaign off to a flying start, finding the net 11 times in their opening match. At the end of the tournament they returned to the very same stadium in Shanghai for the final, where they defeated Brazil, this time by a two-goal margin. In hindsight, just the one goal would have been enough for Germany to defend the title that they had first won in 2003 – one goal is all it often takes if you have a goalkeeper and a back line with a “they shall not pass” mentality when it comes to keeping opposing forwards away from the danger zone.
It was a sell-out at the Shanghai Hongkou Stadium, with 31,000 enthusiastic fans getting to enjoy a hard-fought and intense final, which saw the South American artists increasingly dominate possession as the match went on. All eyes were on Marta who showed her class time and again in the first half, but came away with nothing to show for it.
Birgit Prinz (52’) gave the defending champions the lead early in the second half and moments later, Annike Krahn had the chance to put the tie beyond doubt, but her header from a corner was mere inches off target. The tension then began to ramp up in Shanghai: on 64 minutes, Cristiane burst into the German penalty area and Linda Bresonik was forced to bring her down. Marta stepped up to the spot but Angerer dived quickly low to her right and tipped the ball away with a world-class save. The Brazilians continued to come on strong and threw everything forward in the search for an equaliser, but the German defence – in particular Ariane Hingst – was phenomenal and refused to budge. Simone Laudehr’s header four minutes from time duly set the seal on a second consecutive World Cup triumph.
Nadine Angerer was unbeatable – not just that day but throughout the entire tournament. In the final she saved a penalty from Marta, made some other sensational saves and was instrumental in Germany’s 2-0 win and second consecutive title on the biggest of stages. The final capped off a remarkable tournament in which she did not concede a single goal, breaking Italian goalie Walter Zenga’s record for the most minutes without conceding at a FIFA World Cup. She was chosen as player of the match in the final and goalkeeper of the tournament.
What they said
"To be perfectly honest, other countries in this tournament had better individual players, but we were simply amazing as a team. We always stuck together and played as a unit. And we had a lot of fun together – that was the secret of our success at this World Cup." Germany forward Birgit Prinz
"We fought really hard to make it through to this final. That was already a great achievement for us and one that will go down in footballing history. Unfortunately we were made to pay a high price for our mistakes. We couldn’t put our chances away, I didn’t have the luck I needed with my penalty and then we hit the woodwork two or three times. We didn’t manage to change the tempo of the match, but that’s the way it is at times in football. Sometimes you can be incredibly good and still not come away with the right result." Brazil forward Marta
"Before the World Cup 2007, I made it pretty clear to anyone who was listening that I wanted to be the number one. And then suddenly the time came where I had to back that up, so every match in China was very, very emotional for me right from the kick-off. I had put myself under an incredible amount of pressure and yes, that made me my own worst enemy at times. But as I’ve said before: who knows where I’d have ended up if I hadn’t done it like that?" Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer
What happened next?
The dream of three titles in a row – on home soil no less– proved too big an ask four years later for Germany. Silvia Neid’s team fell 1-0 in extra time in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™ to eventual winners Japan.