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Women's Football World Cup News
Germany 4 (Garefrekes 25, Grings 32,pen 68, Da Mbabi 89)
France 2 (Delie 56, Georges 72)
att: 45,867; at Moenchengladbach
Germany hit top form in their last group match against ten player France to win an enthralling encounter in Moenchengladbach to ensure they finish top of Group A.
The host nation will take on Japan in the quarter finals in Wolfsburg on Saturday, with France facing England in Leverkusen on the same day.
Both teams rested players in order to avoid possible suspensions and it was Germany who settled quicker and they took the lead midway through the first half. Babett Peter floated in a free kick and Kerstin Garefrekes rose highest to beat Berangere Sapowicz with a firm header.
Before France could fully recover, they found themselves two goals behind as Simone Laudehr broke forward to cross and Inka Grings justified her recall to the starting line up by heading home.
France themselves have great attacking power though and, early in the second half, they gave themselves renewed hope. Sandrine Soubeyrand's corner from the right picked out Marie-Laure Delie who scored with a downward header.
Germany continued to press forward and were given a great chance to restore their two-goal lead as Fatmire Bajramaj burst into the area where she was brought down by Sapowicz. A penalty was awarded and Sapowicz was shown the first red card of the tournament.
Celine Deville was hastily brought on as substitute but her first task was to pick the ball out of the net after Grings unerringly drove the spot kick into the corner of the net.
France refused to give up and grabbed themselves a lifeline just four minutes later, another Soubeyrand corner being met by a powerful header from Laura Georges which sailed past Nadine Angerer. They should have been level moments later as Delie was released in the area but dragged her left foot shot wide with only Angerer to beat.
Germany were stunned back into action and Grings was inches away from her hat-trick as a 20-yard free kick hit the side netting. Bajramaj was then denied by an excellent goal line clearance from Camille Abily and Saskia Bartusiak clipped the bar with a long range effort.
The hosts were not to be denied though and they made the game safe in the dying minutes as Peter's cross was touched on by Garefrekes for Celia Okoyino da Mbabi to take one touch before finding the corner of the net with a precise finish.
Germany: Nadine Angerer, Bianca Schmidt, Saskia Bartusiak, Babett Peter, Annike Krahn (sub Alexandra Popp 78mins), Simone Laudehr (sub Ariane Hingst 45mins), Kerstin Garefrekes, Inka Grings, Celia Okoyino da Mbabi, Fatmire Bajramaj, Lena Goessling.
France: Berangere Sapowicz, Laure Lepailleur, Laure Boulleau, Laura Georges, Wendie Renard, Sandrine Soubeyrand, Elodie Thomis (sub Camille Abily 45mins), Elise Bussaglia, Eugenie Le Sommer (sub Celine Deville 68mins), Louisa Necib (sub Marie-Laure Delie 45mins), Gaetene Thiney.
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