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Germany earns narrow victory

FRANKFURT, Germany — Germany reached the Women's World Cup quarterfinals, beating Nigeria 1-0 Thursday when Simone Laudehr scored on a volley during a 54th-minute goalmouth scramble in a surprisingly tight game.

Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer celebrated her 100th international appearance with a shutout. The host nation, which has won both its games, looked hardly convincing in the three-week tournament it is favored to win.

After France routed Canada 4-0 to also advance, Germany must beat its neighbor Tuesday if the two-time defending champion is to win Group A. Nigeria was eliminated along with Canada. The United States plays Colombia in Group C on Saturday in Sinsheim.

"We are happy to advance, but we have to work on our game," Germany coach Sylvia Neid said.

Nigeria goalkeeper Precious Dede summed it up: "If they play like they did today, I don't think they will go to the finals."

With Nigeria needing a victory to stay in contention, Germany understood the task. But despite the support of a 48,817 sellout crowd, it managed little beyond territorial domination.

In a sometimes rough game that referee Cha Sung-mi had trouble controlling, Nigeria went head-to-head with Germany as much as possible but was unable to create many chances against the two-time defending champion.

Germany stuck with the lineup that beat Canada 2-1 in its opener, keeping star Birgit Prinz in front of her home crowd despite a disappointing opening game.

Prinz, 33, needs one goal to become the first woman to score at least once in five World Cups. She leads the career list with 14 goals.

But this outing was not much better. Once Neid removed Prinz, the game turned.

"I substituted her because I wanted more pressure upfield," Neid said.

Midfielder Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi swung in a low free kick from the left. A first stab for a goal was smothered and a shot from Alexandra Popp was blocked. But then Laudehr blasted the ball home.

"It didn't go smoothly," Laudehr said. "We knew that they would be tough because they needed three points. They made our life difficult."

Gaetane Thiney scored twice in France's victory.

"Everything worked right for us," she said. "My goals were fantastic."

Today's games
Gm Group When TV Matchup
11 B 9 a.m. ESPN Japan vs. Mexico
12 B 12:15 ESPN New Zealand vs. England
United States' games, Group C
Gm When TV Matchup
14 noon Saturday ESPN U.S. vs. Colombia
22 2:45 Wednesday ESPN Sweden vs. U.S.


Women's World Cup

Top two in each group advance:

GROUP A

GP W D L GF GA Pts

France220 0 506

Germany220 0 316

Nigeria20 0 202 0

Canada20 0 20 60

GROUP B

GP W D L GF GA Pts

Japan 1 1 0 0 2 1 3

Mexico1 0 1 0 1 1 1

England1 0 1 0 1 1 1

New Zealand 1 0 0 1 1 2 0

GROUP C

GP W D L GF GA Pts

United States 1 1 0 0 2 0 3

Sweden 1 1 0 0 1 0 3

Colombia 1 0 0 1 0 1 0

North Korea 1 0 0 1 0 2 0

Germany earns narrow victory 06/30/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 30, 2011 10:23pm]
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