National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was able to allow herself a satisfied smile as a spectator in Auckland’s Aotea Centre. In the draw for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the German soccer players caught a grateful group. However, for the title mission Down Under, the DFB selection will have to fly a lot – and a lot of research work beforehand.
Because in Group H, the European runners-up will meet World Cup newcomers Morocco, Colombia and South Korea in around nine months. “This is a group with three unknown teams, it’s a big challenge for us to analyze the opponents well in advance,” said Voss-Tecklenburg after the colorful ceremony on Saturday in the New Zealand metropolis.
One thing is clear: the two-time world champion Germany will play exclusively in Australia until they reach the final. It starts on the east coast at three different venues. From southern Melbourne (July 24) to Sydney (July 30) and Brisbane (August 3).
In the duel with South Korea, there is a reunion with ex-Bundesliga coach Colin Bell, who, according to the national coach, has been in charge of the vice-Asian champion since 2019, who is “very strong”. Colombia comes more from “heart blood and passion”, Morocco as a debutant has so far “not been a topic on the women’s football map so often” from a German point of view.
“We’re looking forward to three very different teams, which present us with very different tasks – but we want to solve them,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.
World Cup 2023 for the first time with 32 teams
At the first World Cup with 32 teams, the first and second in the eight groups of four advance to the round of 16. The opening match of the ninth women’s finals on 20 July 2023 is between New Zealand and Norway at Auckland’s Eden Park.
The DFB selection was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup in France. The defending champions are the USA around superstar Megan Rapinoe.
The DFB selection would avoid the record world champion until the final on August 20 in Sydney. In the round of 16 it could go against the co-favorites Brazil or France.
In addition to the sporting challenge, the tournament will also be extremely demanding for the teams on other levels. In some cases, long distances have to be covered between the nine venues, the cool and wet climate and the jet lag will also make for unusual conditions.
The home fans are also at a disadvantage after the EM hype last summer, including TV record ratings. Due to the time difference (maximum 11 hours), the World Cup games take place at night or in the morning far away from prime time.
In order to acclimatize as best as possible, the German entourage wants to arrive about ten days before the first group game and play a friendly against a World Cup participant. After the draw, Voss-Tecklenburg and the organization team will travel to Australia for a week to explore the conditions, including accommodation options, during a preview.