The German U20 women were eliminated at the World Cup in Costa Rica after the group stage. In the last preliminary round game, the DFB team lost 1-0 to Mexico and thus missed out on reaching the quarter-finals. In the interview, DFB coach Kathrin Peter talks about lessons after the end and structural challenges. Ms. Peter, how do you rate your team’s elimination from the World Cup?

Kathrin Peter: We had set ourselves the goal of qualifying first in the group for the quarter-finals. We didn’t make it, that’s a fact. Accordingly, we are not satisfied and disappointed with our performance at the World Cup. In the last game against Mexico, the team could have bought a ticket to the quarter-finals. There were chances, but Germany didn’t score. What was missing besides the goal?

Peter: The game against Mexico was very balanced overall. There were chances on both sides. Mexico were certainly the happier side to score the goal in the end. The game didn’t go well for us in the last third. We played well from behind and made good transitions, which unfortunately we didn’t finish successfully. The final pass or goal didn’t work. That cost us goals and points. What was the reason that the players couldn’t bring their collective performance to the pitch?

Peter: There may also be structural reasons that are already in the preparation. We look after two teams in the coaching team, the U19 and U20 women. As a result, we got to know a lot of players over the course of the season. The focus for the first six months was on promoting these talents as individually as possible. It wasn’t until we qualified for the U19 European Championship that two teams formed, with which we went to both tournaments. As a result, with two short courses each including a preparatory game, we unfortunately only had little time to form the teams into a unit and to promote the team process. In retrospect, that wasn’t enough time. For most players, the World Cup games were the last ones in the U-national team. What was the farewell like?

Peter: Yesterday evening we sat down again together with the players and the staff for the so-called “blue hour”, in which we reviewed the tournament together. We had a lot of good conversations and also talked about the coming season, in which the girls will soon start again with their clubs. What can the players take away from the World Cup?

Peter: This tournament experience is bitter for all of us at first. However, she also brings many lessons for each individual. The players were able to compete and present themselves on the big stage. They could see where they stand in an international comparison, where they have potential to grow and get better. They also learned what it means to perform under exceptional pressure and to take on responsibility. You can build on this for the upcoming tasks and their further development.

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