National player Julia Gwynn returns after 397 days

National player Julia Gwynn returns after 397 days

The ball has been in its path for some time. The Germans overtook the Israeli opponents and handed him from one leg to the other until he landed in the penalty area with Giulia Gwyn. She straightened it, then slipped, but when it fell she pulled. What happened now happened quickly, but for Gwynn everything had to happen in slow motion: keeper Amit Bailey was lying on the floor in front of her, the ball on the beautiful path leading from five meters to the goal – it must be something! But Israeli defender Shani David, who carefully headed off the ball line, was blocked. At a few stops the ball reached Gwynn again, this time she tried to head in, and David cleared the line again.

If Gwyn had scored the goal, the conclusion of the third victory in the third World Cup qualifier for the German national soccer team on Thursday would have been a little more positive. DFB women are better than committed defense hosts, but they did not stop it, and overall it was incredibly difficult. There was a lack of ideas and accuracy at crucial moments. So it was in the 18th minute that Svenja Hooth’s 1-0 at Hamoshava Stadium in Petach Tikwa, near Tel Aviv – mixed emotions. National coach Martina Vos-Teklenberg and the players were dissatisfied with their performance, which was nothing new, and sometimes felt sluggish, it says. “It wasn’t the game we expected,” Gwynn said.

“We don’t expect much and we know she needs some more time,” says national coach Vos-Techlenberg.

This evening was such a success for them. The big comeback story lost just one goal from two chances in the 81st minute. 397 days later, the 22-year-old returned to the field for the first time for the national team. She tore her cruciate ligament and injured other ligaments in her right knee during the European Championship qualifier against Ireland on September 19, 2020.

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Ironically, Vos-Techlenberg had to do without the variable Gwyn, who attracted the most attention at the 2019 World Cup and was voted the best young player there. Especially at a stage where the team is developing and optimally preparing for the next major event. The reigning champions have lost the 2021 Olympic Games and will have to prove that they are still the best at the 2022 European Championships in England.

For Gwynn, re-establishing herself in a squad with a lot of young faces right now – she wants to be one of the most influential. “Especially in the midst of such a long injury you have time to work on yourself physically and mentally, which is lost in normal football,” Gwin said two days before the game, replacing it in the 62nd minute. She was able to further develop herself and “learn to appreciate everything differently”.

A scene that reminded me of myself and the consequences: Julia Gwynn was injured on the grass during the European Championship qualifier against Ireland.

(Photo: Anki Weilishmiller / Sven Simon / Imago)

Gwynn did not want to go to her twentieth international match with high hopes, which showed that some things were not going smoothly yet – but her colleagues were already looking for her. “Julia used to be an integral part of our team. Coming back like this, I think I’m a little more mentally strong, which shows a mature process,” Vos-Telenberg said. “We don’t expect much. We know she needs some more time.” The 53-year-old Gwyn was used only in October at the start of the World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria (7: 0) and Serbia (5: 1). First of all, she needs to find her rhythm again at the club and the pressure should not be too much. Gwin played for FC Bayern again in the Bundesliga in August.

When the second match against Israel (4pm, ARD) takes place on Tuesday, it will mark the end of this injury story of Julia Gwynn. In Essen, she lay on the floor with her face paralyzed with pain and had to be carried on a stretcher. Now she wants to leave the stadium with a smile. He is also happy as a goal scorer.

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