It's not just about the big boys...

As you all know, this site is dedicated to the Nationalmannschaft – which in strict terms means the first team. However it can also be applied to others wearing the Schwarz und Weiß, and it just so happens that two such teams are right now performing on the world stage – and doing pretty well, as it goes.

Five years on from from Deutschland ’06, Germany is hosting another big footballing event – this time the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The hosts are looking for an unprecedented straight hat-trick of victories, having won in 2003 in the United States and 2007 in China – and with first-phase wins over Canada, Nigeria and France are safely through to the quarter-finals where they will play Japan.

Silvia Neid’s squad have not looked as dominant as they have done in the past – 2-1 and 1-0 wins over Canada and Nigeria were hard earned, while a 4-2 scoreline against a talented French side reduced to ten appeared to offer a little more spark in attack but at the same time some serious problems at the back – a trait occasionally associated with the men’s side.

While the Frauen are safely through to the knockout phase, the Under-17s have also been in action in Mexico. After finishing a distant second behind the Netherlands in the European Championship, Steffen Freund’s bunch of youngsters appeared to have turned a corner and are clearly one of the form teams. While the Dutch were sent packing in the first phase, the young German side turned on the style, scoring ten goals in their opening group games before thrashing the United States 4-0 in the first knockout phase.

The quarter-final then saw them survive a late comeback by a spirited England side in a game that saw the same scoreline as the last time the senior sides met in Mexico forty-one years ago – though on this occasion it was the Germans that almost gave the game away after leading 2-0 and then 3-1.

Next up, hosts Mexico and a possible final against either Uruguay or Brazil.

It’s not just about the big boys…
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