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Battling Wales beaten by Germany
 Women's Football News 30 May 2008
Battling Wales beaten by Germany - 30 May 2008 - Women's Football NewsWales' final UEFA Championship qualifying group match ended in a 4-0 defeat at the hands of World Champions Germany in front of an attendance of 16,382 in Kassel.
The result means that Wales finish their group having been beaten in all of their matches but they can hold their heads high after a creditable result against the best team in the world.
Wales went into the match without captain Jayne Ludlow and experienced players Kerrie Manly and Michelle Green, therefore Emma Jones once again led the side as captain whilst Jessica Fishlock returned in midfield, Nicola Davies was back in goal and Natasha Harding was brought into the team.
Much of the pre-match attention was focused on German goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg who was playing her 126th and final appearance for her country in a near full strength German side.
Germany were quickly into their stride with Fatmire Bajramaj going close with a long range effort, but they made the breakthrough in the ninth minute as Birgit Prinz set up Ariane Hingst to score. Three minutes later, they doubled their advantage, Conny Pohlers keeping up her good form from the UEFA Women's Cup Final by slotting home the second.
The Germans continued to look strong in the opening stages and they were three ahead by the half hour, a Prinz free kick was blocked and Annike Krahn reacted quickest to convert the loose ball.
Wales could well have folded at this stage but they kept their discipline and there were no further scares before half time.
After the break, although Germany enjoyed the better of possession, the Welsh team worked hard and chances were fewer.
However, twelve minutes from time, Germany rounded off the win with their fourth goal as substitute Melanie Behringer beat Nicola Davies with a free kick.
Rottenberg was given her farewell shortly afterwards as she was substituted to a standing ovation, to bring down an illustrious international career.
Wales midfielder Jessica Fishlock told Women's Soccer Scene: "It was hard, and they are good, but we did well too. We are a lot more compact and much harder to break down than we were before.
"Our performance started off a little rocky and that is when they scored their three goals - after that, we were very tight and they found it difficult to get through.
"Our defence played very well, Natalie Holt had a blinder with Emma Jones and Katie Daley also really good.
"To play in front of a crowd like that was amazing, and they were very friendly."
Wales: Nicola Davies, Carla Parfitt (sub Lauren Townsend 77mins), Natalie Holt, Katie Daley, Emma Jones, Sally Wade, Loren Dykes, Jessica Fishlock, Gwennan Harries, Cheryl Foster (sub Jo Edwards 64mins), Natasha Harding (sub Kala Morgan 90mins). Subs not used: Rhian Nokes, Sophie Ingle, Yasmin Leung, Erin Vaughan.

Germany: Silke Rottenberg (sub Nadine Angerer 82mins), Kerstin Stegemann, Annika Krahn, Linda Bresonik, Ariane Hingst, Navine Omilade, Kerstin Garefrekes (sub Melanie Behringer 74mins), Fatmire Bajramaj, Birgit Prinz, Conny Pohlers (sub Martina Muller 45mins), Lena Goessling. Subs not used: Babett Peter, Petra Wimbersky, Bianca Rech, Kim Kulig.

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