Germany’s national women’s student team got their Namibian tour off with an unconvincing 1-0 victory in Katutura on Thursday afternoon.
Annalisa Rutzel scored the winning goal 11m before the end of the match from a quick counterattack that left Namibia’s defence wide open.
It was a disappointing end for the Brave Gladiators who defended resolutely in the final stages and seemed to have done enough for a draw.
On the whole though it was an uninspiring match, with the Germans playing a tactical, possession based match, while there were few clear chances on both sides. It was only in the final stages that the game opened up with some quick counterattacks from both sides.
Chances were few and far between in the first half as the Germans played a passing game, but could not open Namibia’s defence which was well marahalled by Emma Naris and Esty Amukwaya.
The best chance came towards the end of the half when right winger Julia Manger sent in a cross that captain Mirella Junker volleyed over the bar from close range.
The game opened up in the second half with Gladiators keeper Meriam Swartbooi brought off two fine saves in quick succession from Julia Manger.
At the other end a freekick by Kleintjie Fredericks was tipped over the bar by German keeper Christina Bellinghoven.
Germany finally got the breakthrough on 79m when Manger broke away on a counterattack down the right wing and sent in a cross which Rutzel volleyed into the net, with no defence in sight.
Namibia tried hard to equalise with Fredericks coming close on two occasions but she could not find the net.
On the whole though it was an encouraging performance by the youthful Namibian team which included five under 17 players.
The second match in the series takes place in Swakopmund at the SFC Sports Ground on Sunday, July 8.