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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Germany Women 5-1 England Women
By Tony Leighton in Aalen, Germany

Anita Asante
England's Anita Asante sees another goal go in in Aalen
England Women's preparations for next year's World Cup got off to an awful start as they were thrashed in Germany.

England went ahead on 26 minutes through Alex Scott's cool lob but Germany were level within two minutes when Kerstin Stegemann volleyed in.

Sandra Smisek's close-range finish put the hosts in control before half-time.

Captain Birgit Prinz's 100th goal for her country made it 3-1, and late strikes from Martina Muller and Celia Okiyino da Mbabi completed the rout.

Hope Powell's team went into the match, at the home of Bundesliga third division team VFR Aalen, on a high after reaching the world finals for the first time in 12 years.

But after taking the lead through Arsenal full back Alex Scott they were comprehensively outclassed by the European and world champions as their 11-match unbeaten run came to an end.

It was the 15th victory by Germany in 15 fixtures between the two nations and showed the chasm that still exists between England and the best team in the world.

But assistant coach Brent Hills, in charge of the team as Powell had been unable to travel due to a hip operation last week, was positive as he looked to the future.

Noting that his side was weakened through having three key players missing, he said: "We'll take lessons from this game and aim to move on over the next 11 months.

"It's important our players get experience of playing in games like this before we get to China next September.

"We are still a developing team and we'll get stronger if we take on board the things we've learned from this match."

Germany (4-4-2): U. Schmetz; K. Stegemann (sub: P. Peter 73), A. Krahn, A. Hingst, S. Minnert (sub: B. Rech 83); K. Garefrekes, B. Carlson (sub: C. da Mbabi HT), R. Lingor (sub: M. Muller 68), I. Bachor (sub: P. Wimbersky HT); B. Prinz (sub: C. Pohlers 83), S. Smisek.
Substitutes not used: U. Holl, C. da Mbabi.

England (4-2-1-3): R. Brown (sub: S. Chamberlain 56); A. Scott, A. Asante, M. Phillip, C. Stoney; F. Williams (sub. E. Aluko 77), V. Exley; K. Smith (sub: J. Scott 61); K. Carney (sub: L. Johnson HT), J. Handley, R. Yankey (sub: S. Smith 68).
Substitutes not used: A. Barr, L. Bassett, S. Houghton, L. Sanderson.

Booked: Stoney 72

Referee: Ms Beck (Germany)



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