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 You are in: Special Events: 2001: Womens Euro 2001  
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  Saturday, 23 June, 2001, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Gutsy Germany sink Sweden
Germany's Maren Meinert and Sweden's Malin Mostroem
Meinert netted Germany's third to wrap up the game
Germany 3-1 Sweden

Germany got the defence of their European crown off to the best possible start with a deserved win over Sweden in Erfurt.

The hosts and joint favourites had an early scare when Hanna Ljungberg gave Sweden the lead on 14 minutes.

But two goals from Claudia Mueller and a late strike by Maren Meinert handed Germany victory in front of more than 10,000 spectators.

Germany started brightly and put the Swedish defence under early pressure.

The hosts might have been 1-0 up within the first three minutes but Mueller's shot was saved by Sweden goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson.

Sweden's Karoline Westberg and Germany's Claudia Mueller
Mueller thwarted by Westberg

At the other end, Germany captain Doris Fitschen was called into action when she made a last-ditch save to deny Ljungberg a certain goal.

Germany keeper Silke Rottenberg was also forced to make a fine double save, first from Linda Fagerstrom's drive and then Elin Flyborg's follow-up.

Sweden were eventually rewarded for their pressure when Ljungberg netted the tournament's first goal.

The goal prompted a stunned Germany into action, with Mueller at the heart of the hosts' attacks.

Twice she was denied by some resolute Swedish defending before grabbing the equaliser just before half-time.

Meinert swung in an accurate free-kick and Mueller, arriving late at the far post, headed home from close range on 42 minutes.

Germany's Claudia Mueller fights for the ball against Sweden's Jana Toernqvist
Mueller proved a handful for Sweden

After the interval, Sweden's eagerness to take the lead again invariably left gaps at the back.

And it was again Mueller again who made the most of the situation, diverting Pia Wunderlich's long ball into the back of the net on 65 minutes.

With Germany in the ascendancy, the home nation wrapped up the game in the 78th minute, Meinert adding the third.

Sweden's attacking threat was there for all to see, but they paid the ultimate price for not defending in equal measure.

Germany can now breathe a sigh of relief after comfortably overcoming the second strongest team in their group.


Final

Semi-finals

Group A

Group B

Tournament news

Background features

Finals focus

ENGLAND SQUAD
Links to more Womens Euro 2001 stories are at the foot of the page.


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