TOOne year after its official opening, the Linz Arena presents itself as a meeting place for football teams and their fans, where workers continue to work diligently to prepare everything to meet the planners' wishes. There could hardly be a more suitable scenario these days for the women's team of the German Football Federation (DFB), which, after passing the aptitude test for the Olympic Games, will deal in the coming weeks with obtaining permission to compete in the upcoming important event: in the away game in Austria, the team Horst Hrubesch With the hard-fought 3-2 victory, the long-awaited first step towards qualification for the European Championship to be held in June 2025 in Switzerland was taken.

The national coach was more in demand than ever as a handyman when it came to putting together the squad, because the resignation of Svenja Huth and injuries to established players such as Alexandra Popp, Marina Hegering and Sara Däbritz made a series of changes necessary, both offensive and defensive. The creativity with which Hrubesch designed the direction of the formation led to success in front of 7,500 spectators, and at the same time gave an indication that the personnel change that the imminent resignation of the previous leaders would soon make necessary also for Hrubesch's designated successor It could cause a lot of headaches.

Hrubesch: “We know we can do better”

Christian Wück, said Hrubesch with a mischievous smile before leaving on a warm spring evening for the hotel in the province of Upper Austria, where he will lead the team over the weekend for Tuesday's home game in Aachen against Iceland (6:10 p.m. ). ZDF) agrees, I will definitely “still have fun” guiding players toward greater stability in their performances. “We are not a completely coordinated team,” Hrubesch said, “and we know we can do better. We have to accelerate more.”

He was “delighted” by the result, which meant three points, “that's important.” Hamburg announced that it will “clarify” internally that it is not compatible with the great objectives that everyone has to allow themselves to be surprised again and again by their rival, as happened in the first 30 minutes of the prestigious match. neighborhood duel in Linz, which was like a lesson. “We knew we couldn't allow ourselves to be slowed down,” Hrubesch said, referring to the preparation, in which much revolved around the physical strength of the Austrians. “But then we weren't present,” the national coach complained about the phlegmatic start of his team, which ended with two goals from Eileen Campbell (minutes 9 and 16). “That wasn't what we wanted. “It's only possible if we always play at 100 percent,” she added. “We have to play faster and calmer,” was his announcement, which he recently used with similar words after the 1-2 draw in France and the 0-0 draw in Wales, without lasting consequences.

“The trees here don't grow to the sky,” says Hrubesch. Winning a ticket to the Olympic Games is an achievement that must be confirmed. In the 16 weeks left until the start of the tournament, which initially includes the preliminary rounds for the Germans in Marseille and St. Etienne, more reliable coordination should be possible. Scenes that abounded at the beginning, in which the DFB team, under pressure, failed to cross the first line of pressure well and instead found itself repeatedly involved in duels in which it looked bad due to its lack of speed of action. , do not correspond to his idea of ​​a simple structure in its own half.