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8.08.2016Bayer 04

Rio 2016: On course after Korea thriller

Germany are still waiting for a first win at the Olympics but progress to the quarter-finals is in their own hands: After a spectacular 3-3 draw with South Korea the German Olympic football team, including the two Werkself pros Lars Bender and Julian Brandt, may need to win by a five-goal margin in the last group match on Wednesday to be sure of going through to the quarter-finals.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

After drawing 2-2 with Mexico in the opening match Germany faced another thriller in the second game – and the team coached by Horst Hrubesch again showed great commitment to the cause. As in the encounter with Mexico the German team succeeded in coming from behind twice to get a result against South Korea with former Werkself pro Heung-Min Son in their line-up. The opening goal from Hwang on 25 minutes was cancelled out a Serge Gnabry strike on 33 minutes with Brandt providing the assist. The live wire Brandt fired in a shot on goal but the Korea keeper Kim turned it away for a corner. Germany took a 2-1 lead through Davie Selke (55’) but Son levelled two minutes later. A Brandt volley flew past the upright on 85 minutes. With three minutes to play the Koreans regained the lead but a deflected effort from Gnabry in added time found the back of the net to make it 3-3.

Germany escaped an early exit from the Olympic football tournament at the last minute – and their fate is back in their own hands. If the match between Mexico and South Korea on Wednesday produces a winner then Germany only need to beat Fiji in Belo Horizonte to progress to the quarter-final stage as group runners-up. If Mexico and South Korea draw then Bender, Brandt and Co. will need to win by five goals to overtake Mexico who beat Fiji 5-1. South Korea secured an 8-0 victory over Fiji in their first match.

“It was a nail-biter and I would have preferred an easier game,” admitted Hrubesch. “But we’re still in it!” The Germany coach feared in added time, “that I would have to congratulate our opponents but then I said: We’ll get another chance – and that’s what happened.”

Women earn point late on

The Germany women’s team with Annike Krahn also earned a last-minute reprieve to make good a two-goal deficit in a 2-2 draw with Australia. Sabrina Däbritz netted the first before Saskia Bartusiak forced an Australian own goal. Germany, on four points, are one ahead of Australia. The final group match is against leaders Canada on six points. Krahn was substituted at half-time.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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