German football fans expected their national team to win the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. But a shocking 1-0 loss in extra time in the quarter-finals to Japan has the two-time reigning champions out of the tournament at home and reeling looking for answers.
The Munich based Sueddeutsche Zeitung splashed a banner photo of a distraught German captain Kerstin Garefrekes with the headline: “Germany out – shock goal in minute 108”. The newspaper called it a “sensational defeat” and said Germany could not handle Japan’s “lively and aggressive defense” while adding: “One single ingenious moment in extra time was enough for the opponents to do what no one thought possible – an outsider shooting the reigning world champion out of the tournament.
Die Welt daily went with the headline: “Surreal, brutal and not this bad since 1999 – World Cup exit a disaster for women’s football”. Germany were bounced from the 1999 World Cup at the quarter-final stage. Die Welt also wrote: “The early German exit from the quarter-finals of the World Cup is a disaster for the tournament, the atmosphere in the country, and for women’s football in general.”
The mass daily Bild used the headline “Fraus!” mixing Frau (woman) and aus (out) and said: “Japan kick us out of the World Cup”. Right next to that was a picture of Kim Kulig laying on the ground with the headlines: “Knee broke, Kulig cries”. The first line of their story about the loss read: “The summer fairytale is over with!” – referring to the German men’s fairytale run to third place at the 2006 World Cup at home, which many in Germany hoped the women would move two steps up the podium and clinch their third straight title.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ran a photo of Babett Peter and titled their coverage: “Nerves fail – bitter exit in quarter-finals”. They wrote: “The big favorite to win the World Cup missed their goal already in the quarter-finals. The German football women experienced their worst disappointment in years and lost after extra time 1-0.”
The sports news portal Spox.com’s head was “Shock: Germany eliminated!” “The unthinkable has occurred: Japan hand the German women the K.O. in extra time.” Spox also spoke of the “nightmare scenario” of Germany not even qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics – the case if Sweden beat Australia as the Swedes would reach London along with semi-finalists France and hosts England.
Spox interesting also ran an advertisement above and on the side which read: “Thank You Germany. For an exciting date. See you again. In Canada. 2015. Save the date.”
The sports magazine Kicker ran with: “Maruyama provides for the sensation – Germany is out!” They spoke of “bad luck” on the attack and “brilliantly disposed” Japanese in leading to the German defeat.
Sportbild displayed a photo of a German player on the ground crying face down into the pitch with the headline “Sadness, stillness, emptiness: Our girls bitterly weep here their World Cup exit.”
The weekly newspaper Die Zeit also had a picture of Peter on the brink of tears and titled their Live Blog “Protocol of the disappointed hope”, saying: “The defeat was unexpected, the performance was not. The German XI rarely dominated play during the World Cup. Where actually was Bajramaj?” and also added: “The title holder could not find an effective means against the disciplined Asians.”