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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Germany 3-0 Norway
Germany celebrate the crucial first goal
Germany celebrate the crucial opening goal in Tianjin
Germany reached the Women's World Cup final with an own goal and a quick-fire second-half brace against Norway.

Norway, looking to reach their first final since 1995, had the better of the first half with Leni Larsen Kaurin and Solveig Gulbrandsen going close.

But defending champions Germany went ahead when Trine Ronning turned in Birgit Prinz's cross on 43 minutes.

Kerstin Steegemann's deflected effort doubled their lead and Martina Mueller pounced on a mistake for the third.

If the first goal knocked the stuffing from Norway, those two strikes in three minutes left them dead and buried after they had started so well.

While Germany lined up numerous shots but failed to hit the target, Norway were far more accurate in front of goal.

Kaurin connected with a firm long-range effort before fluffing while one-on-one from closer range, and Gulbrandsen cracked a corner on the half volley that tested Nadine Angerer low to her left.

But it was Germany who struck when Prinz was released down the left and Ronning, who had earlier denied Melanie Behringer with a perfectly-timed tackle in the box, turned the ball in at the near post as she looked to defend a fierce, flat cross.


Norway came close to an immediate equaliser when a corner dropped in the the six-yard box and caused panic in the German ranks, but that was as near as they were going to come to an equaliser.

Defending champions Germany hit their straps after the break, when they were quicker to close down their European rivals and deny them space.

The game was all but up on 72 minutes when Steegeman's looping, deflected shot from the right left a scrambling Bente Nordby with no chance in the Norway goal.

And when Siri Nordby's under-hit pass was collected by Mueller for a cool, low finish from the left Germany could start thinking about Sunday's final against either the USA or Brazil.

It could have been worse for Norway, but Fatmire Bajramaj cracked a fierce effort on to the crossbar when played in by Prinz from the right.

For Norway it was a first loss to European opposition at a World Cup.

While Germany will go into Shanghai's showdown in confident in confident mood having scored 19 goals without conceding, although Angerer was forced to protect that proud record with a fine, low save from Marie Knutsen.

Germany have now gone 529 minutes without conceding a World Cup goal, dating back to the 2003 tournament, which has broken China's previous best mark of 442 minutes.

Germany: Angerer, Stegemann, Hingst, Krahn, Bresonik (Minnert 81), Behringer (Bajramaj 41), Garefrekes, Lingor, Laudehr, Smisek (Mueller 65), Prinz.
Subs Not Used: Holl, Rottenberg, Bartusiak, Peter, Fuss, Wimbersky, Mittag.

Goals: Ronning 42 og, Stegemann 72, Mueller 75.

Norway: Bente Nordby, Stangeland Horpestad, Huse, Folstad (Siri Nordby 48), Stensland, Marie Knutsen, Ronning, Solveig Gulbrandsen (Storlokken 56), Herlovsen (Klaveness 46), Larsen Kaurin, Ragnhild Gulbrandsen.
Subs Not Used: Nilsen, Skarbo, Fiane Christensen, Giske, Mykjaland, Wiik, Guro Knutsen.

Booked: Larsen Kaurin.

Referee: Dagmar Damkova (Czech Republic).



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