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Germany's experience of the big occasions proved to be vital as they defeated Brazil 2-0 in Shanghai to become the first country ever to retain the World Cup.
A largely disappointing first half gave way to an action packed second and a penalty save helped the Germans on their way to becoming the first team ever, male or female, to go through a World Cup Finals without conceding a goal.
Germany had a great chance to open the scoring in the fifth minute as Kerstin Garefrekes burst into the area but fired her shot into the side netting. Brazil came back with a Daniela free kick which was not held by Nadine Angerer and Formiga poked the ball wide from six yards.
Another chance went begging as Sandra Smisek shot wastefully over with a clear sight on goal but at the other end, Daniela went close with a 25-yard volley which crashed back off the inside of the post and away to safety.
After the flurry of chances, the pace slowed and the game drifted into half time with a goalless score, set to explode into life after the restart.
Six minutes into the second half, Germany broke the deadlock as Renate Lingor's pass was laid off by Smisek and into the path of Birgit Prinz. The German captain's shot was not sweetly struck but bounced under the diviing Andreia and into the net for the opening goal.
Annike Krahn should have made it two but headed wide from five yards out following a Lingor corner. That miss looked to have been costly just five minutes later as Cristiane was tripped by Linda Bresonik in the area and Brazil were awarded a penalty.
Marta stepped up to take the kick but - after being forced to wait as Brazil bizarrely made a substitution - her tame effort was saved by Angerer low to her right and the Germans converged to prevent Marta scoring from the rebound.
Angerer then produced an even better save to tip a 30-yard Daniela free kick onto the post. Brazil threw on extra strikers in an attempt to level the game but Germany stood firm under the increasing pressure with Krahn outstanding in the centre, well supported by the ever consistent Ariane Hingst.
Lingor had also given a great performance in midfield and another of her set pieces led to Germany wrapping up the game. This time her inswinging corner from the left picked out Simone Laudehr whose powerful downward header gave Andreia no chance and Germany were World Champions once again.
Germany: Nadine Angerer, Kerstin Stegemann, Linda Bresonik, Simone Laudehr, Annike Krahn, Ariane Hingst, Melanie Behringer (sub Martina Mueller 74mins), Sandra Smisek (sub Fatmire Bajramaj 80mins), Birgit Prinz, Renate Lingor, Kerstin Garefrekes.
Brazil: Andreia, Elaine, Aline (sub Katia 88mins), Tania (sub Pretinha 81mins), Renata Costa, Ester (sub Rosana 63mins), Daniela, Formiga, Maycon, Marta, Cristiane.
Photo - www.jamesprickett.co.uk
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