Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughUnbeatable Germans clinch another title - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Unbeatable Germans clinch another title - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Unbeatable Germans clinch another title

Few periods of dominance in sport can come close the German control over women’s European football, with Sunday’s win over Norway signifying a remarkable sixth straight crown – a run stretching all the way back to 1993.

Coming into the tournament missing a host of key performers, Sweden 2013 represented as perfect of an opportunity as there has ever been for someone else to finally end the German reign. Yet somehow the invincible Germans found a way to retain their crown, despite for large parts looking a far cry from the destructive force we saw in Finland two years.

Their group stage performance only enhanced the view that it might be just be a new name on the trophy, as the holders firstly stumbled to a 0-0 draw against Netherlands and although they swept past Iceland in game two, a defeat in the final fixture to Norway sent shockwaves around the tournament. Normally for a side to lose their final fixture when already through would generate little excitement at a major tournament, yet incredibly this was the Germans first defeat of any kind at a European Championship since 1991. Further to this hosts Sweden buoyed by vocal home support and led by the inspirational Pia Sundhage were starting to hit form, whilst the highly fancied France were also looking in extremely good touch as their talented squad coasted through the group stage.

In the quarter finals Germany saw off Italy 1-0 – another game where in truth they failed to really hit their full stride, yet found their way through. The same could not be said of the French who were seen off by a Denmark side that had only made the last eight courtesy of winning a lot draw with Russia – without question the shock of the tournament.

Sweden though avoided any such surprise as they eased past Iceland and with star name Lotta Schelin looking in prime form many were tipping them to end the German stranglehold – so much so many predicted the Swedes to win the pairs much anticipated semi-final. Yet for all the Swedes attacking threat and the wave of momentum they were riding, they simply could not find a way past the sheer desire and mental toughness of the resolute Germans. In the end a single Dzsefiner Marozsan goal was enough to take the holders to the final – despite intense Swedish pressure.

Having come through both the previous rounds via a 1-0 win, it was perhaps fitting that Anja Mittag’s strike was enough to see off Norway. Nevertheless this was another game that it could be argued that Silvia Neid’s ladies rode their luck – with the Norwegian’s missing two penalties, although in truth Germany had enough chances to have won by several. Such is the aura of the German’s that even when Norway had those penalties there was almost an inevitability that they would be missed – so much so that when Solveig Gulbrandsen stepped up to take the second of those penalties a large proportion of her side could not even watch.

This is far from one of the strongest Germany sides of all time, whilst of the star names that were fit for the tournament several struggled to find their best form, for example Celia Okoyino da Mbabi. Yet few sides can match them for pure character, resilience and belief – at no point during the campaign is it hard to imagine that German believed they would not win. The aura of invincibility built up by past success of course helps and overcoming the mental barrier that comes with facing Germany is half of the battle – a fight that as yet nobody seems capable of winning and given this latest triumph against the odds it’s hard to see that changing any time soon.

Despite that you can only admire the match winning ability of the Germans – one of the most dominant forces in all of European sport, let alone just football.