GERMANY: In Form, But a Tough Challenge Awaits

In-form teamsetting sights on another 3 points in Group G
by Katherine Rupp   |   Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bycolored – column on Ottawa Fury & the Ottawa area soccer scene.

Germany’s looking for 2 things right now —  more goals and more points, eventually leading the European power through the stages of the World Cup to finally reach the final.

However, as seen through the first round of group stage matches, Group G – stacked with Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the United States – is indeed a Group of Death.

For Germany, it was much easier to see the pros of the team rather than the cons of the team as others did, such as Portugal. The Iberian Peninsula nation was defeated by Die Mannschaft 4-0, which resulted in a Real Madrid’s Pepe headbutt to Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller – and subsequent red card leading to his being left out of Portugal’s next group stage match against the United States – as well as a dismantling of Portugal’s offense through the help of Muller’s fellow Munich teammate, Jerome Boateng, in addition to Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao being injured. Not only did the demolishing win of the Germans lessen Portugal’s team esteem, it raised the clout of Germany’s team.

Up next for the Germans is Ghana, the opponent who comes into the match heart-broken but with a vengeful focus to come away with at least one group stage win. Germany will look to go forth with 2 other wins against the strong and athletic African nation as well as the mighty and courageous United States, to finish and advance out of the group – somewhat easily – with 9 points.

However, that doesn’t mean getting 9 points is what will happen – although it is likely – but it won’t be easy.

Ghana have speed and agility to bring to the match against the Germans on Saturday the June 21, while the men in black, red and yellow have discipline and determination to make their goal of a World Cup final possible by bringing it against the Black Stars (and the Yanks).

Muller, with his hat trick against Portugal adding to his total all-time World Cup goals tally (as of now) to 8 goals in 5 World Cup games from 2 World Cups, at only 24 years old and could have at least 1, if not 2, more World Cups to look forward to and quite possibly could be one to watch for this year’s edition of the tournament to either take home the Adidas Golden Ball trophy – awarded to the player who is the best of the tournament – or the Adidas Golden Boot trophy – awarded to the player who has the highest goal tally of the World Cup.

Although the best of German play hasn’t been seen, in part because of Portugal’s uninspired play led to the Germans being more lax than they normally are, the Germans are still one of the strongest teams – in terms of skill and depth – in the tournament. And if Muller is the ‘Butch Cassidy’ of the German squad and may be one of the bigger names of this World Cup, don’t discount German regulars to become his ‘Sundance Kid’ such as defenders Philipp Lahm and Jerome Boateng, as well as forward Mario Götze. The talent in those three, along with the aforementioned Muller, is enough for an opposing squad to take a collective team deep breath.

Die Mannschaft, with one game down – not to mention a plus-four goal differential – and two more in the group stages, look to come out on top with nine points as the winner of Group G. Although the Portugal game was an overview of the kind and quality of team that Germany has to offer for the World Cup, the next two matches will surely be anticipated affairs of great footballing skills, finesse, fitness, and ambition.

NEXT UP: June 21, 2014 – Germany vs. Ghana, Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza, Brazil. 3 p.m. EST, ESPN.

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.