Ceila Sasic (3’, 15’, 31’) and Anja Mittag (29’, 35’, 64’) would both score hat tricks as top-ranked Germany enjoyed a 5-0 lead within the first 35 minutes of their Women’s World Cup (WWC) match against the Ivory Coast. Ranked 67 in the world, the Ivory Coast are the lowest ranked team competing at the WWC, making their debut in Ottawa.
Additional goals by Simone Laudehr (71’), Sara Dabritz (75’), Melanie Behringer (79’) and Alexandra Popp (85’) resulted in the second largest margin of victory in the history of the WWC. Of note, Germany holds the record with an 11-0 win against Argentina at the 2007 edition of the WWC (which Germany went on to win).
Heading into the match, Sasic (who plays for FFC Frankfurt) had 57 goals in 104 caps with Germany. With three goals in a time span of just 31 minutes, it set two new records. Not only was it Germany’s record-breaking fourth hat trick, it proved to be the fastest hat trick scored by a player in WWC history. The previous record had been set in the inaugural WWC in 1991, set jointly by Carin Jennings and Michelle Akers in a 33-minute time span.
Following halftime, Sasic was subbed, a merciful move on the part of the German squad. It also reflected strategy as the Germans next match is against Norway, a rematch of Euro 2014 women’s. Statistically, German won the possession battle with 61%, while outshooting the Ivory Coast by a 31-4 margin. As a side note, shots on target were 4-1 in Germany’s favor while they prevailed in corners by a 12-5 count. Fouls compounded the woes of the Ivory Coast as they endured 29, compared to only 10 for the Germans.
Despite the lopsided score, the Ivory Coast did have chances to break the shutout. Binta Diakite had a goal disallowed due to a foul on German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer. In addition, Ange N’Guessan had an open goal but she headed the ball. Lack of experience proved to be a factor in the loss for the Ivory Coast as they were the unfortunate recipients of six yellow cards. Once the squad tired after halftime, it resulted in holes in their defense which Germany exploited to add five more goals.
Through it all, goalkeeper Dominique Thiamale played valiantly for the Ivory Coast. The crowd at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Stadium showed tremendous empathy and support for her valiant play. In the first half, she made five crucial saves in what was only the second international match of 2015 for the Ivory Coast.
The strong start for Sasic and Mittag place them in the conversation for the Golden Boot Award. They would add to Germany’s historic momentum by becoming only the third duo in WWC history to score hat tricks in the same game. The first such occurrence was in 1991 when Brazil’s Pretinha and Sissi accomplished the feat.
It would take another 16 years for the feat to be duplicated, as Germany’s Birgit Prinz and Sandra Smisek both logged hat tricks. Ironically, only one player even registered a hat trick in the previous WWC and that was Homare Sawa with the Japanese squad that eventually claimed the title.