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Germany are just one step away from retaining the World Cup after they defeated Norway 3-0 in the semi finals in Tianjin.
However the margin of victory was a flattering one on the day as Norway had much the better of the first half before an unfortunate own goal just before half time.
Norway carried the game towards the Germans but could not get too many threatening efforts in on goal as they sought the breakthrough. With three minutes of the first half remaining, Birgit Prinz, who had been kept quiet early on, made a strong run down the left and her cross was headed past her own keeper by Trine Ronning in her attempt to clear to give Germany the lead against the run of play.
Norway's cause was not helped by losing Gunhild Folstad to injury and key player Solveig Gulbrandsen early in the second half and another unlucky break saw Germany extend their lead in the 72nd minute. Renate Lingor played the ball into the path of Prinz who powered into the area before laying the ball back for Kerstin Stegemann whose shot deflected off Ingvild Stensland and looped over a helpless Bente Nordby before going in off the post.
The game was over as a contest three minutes later as a bad backpass from Siri Nordby was seized on by Martina Mueller who finished clinically as Bente Nordby advanced.
Fatmire Bajramaj hit the bar late on but Germany can now look forward to their third World Cup Final in Shanghai on Sunday and are still yet to concede a goal in the tournament.
Germany: Nadine Angerer, Kerstin Stegemann, Linda Bresonik (sub Sandra Minnert 81mins), Ariane Hingst, Annike Krahn, Simone Laudehr, Melanie Behringer (sub Fatmire Bajramaj 40mins), Sandra Smisek (sub Martina Mueller 65mins), Birgit Prinz, Renate Lingor, Kerstin Garefrekes.
Norway: Bente Nordby, Ane Stangeland-Horpestad, Gunhild Folstad (sub Siri Nordby 48mins), Ingvild Stensland, Camilla Huse, Marie Knutsen, Trine Ronning, Solveig Gulbrandsen (sub Lene Storlokken 56mins), Isabell Herlovsen (sub Lise Klaveness 45mins), Ragnhild Gulbrandsen, Leni Larsen Kaurin.
Photo - Simone Laudehr clears from Solveig Gulbrandsen (www.jamesprickett.com)
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