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Women's Football World Cup News
Germany 0 Japan 1 (Maruyama 108)
att: 35,000; at Wolfsburg
Japan caused one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history as an extra time goal from substitute Karina Maruyama sensationally knocked out hosts and holders Germany.
It was the first defeat Germany had suffered in the competition since 1999 and Japan - who had never beaten a European nation before - now play the winners of the tie between Sweden and Australia in the semi finals.
Germany suffered an early blow when Kim Kulig landed awkwardly after heading a Melanie Behringer corner just over and the combative midfielder was forced off with a knee injury.
Germany nevertheless continued to dominate the opening stages and it took a smart save from Ayumi Kaihori to prevent Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi from putting ahead, whilst Kerstin Garefrekes almost bundled in from a Behringer free kick before the ball was cleared from in front of goal.
Behringer went close with a shot from the edge of the area but Japan started to settle and played some neat incisive football of their own. Their best chance came as Yuki Nagasato sent an angled shot wide but they kept the scoreline goalless at the break.
Germany thought they had taken the lead early in the second half when Simone Laudehr rose to head a Behringer free kick goalwards but Yukari Kinga was well placed to clear off the line.
The second half was a much more even contest and Japan also had their chances, Aya Miyama going close with a shot from the edge of the area which hit the side netting.
Japan were defending superbly with central defenders Mizuho Sakaguchi and Azusa Iwashimuzu in outstanding form and the German players' frustrations began to grow.
Babett Peter headed wide and Behringer fired over after being set up by Garefrekes but late German pressure could not bring a breakthrough and the game went into extra time.
The pace of the game did not relent during extra time but there were fewer chances for either side. The closest came as the ball broke in the area for Inka Grings but the normally prolific scorer sent her shot wide of the far post and it was be her last touch of the game before being replaced by Alexandra Popp.
Three minutes into the second period, Maruyama chased a long ball from Homare Sawa into the area and buried an angled shot past Nadine Angerer and inside the far post to put Japan in front and plunge the stadium into stunned silence.
Behringer almost levelled moments later with a stinging shot which was turned over the bar by Kaihori. Led by the inspirational Sawa, who seemed to be everywhere, Japan stood firm under the increasing pressure and it took another good save from Kaihori to keep out a Da Mbabi header.
Germany laid siege to the Japanese goal in the dying minutes but there was no way through. The excellent Behringer supplied a number of dangerous cross from either flank but Kaihori's handling was perfect on each occasion. Japan rode the storm and the final whistle was greeted with more silence as the hosts realised that their World Cup challenge was over.
Germany: Nadine Angerer, Linda Bresonik (sub Lena Goessling 65mins), Saskia Bartusiak, Babett Peter, Annike Krahn, Simone Laudehr, Melanie Behringer, Inka Grings (sub Alexandra Popp 102mins), Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi, Kim Kulig (sub Bianca Schmidt 8mins), Kerstin Garefrekes.
Japan: Ayumi Kaihori, Yukari Kinga, Azusa Iwashimuzu, Saki Kumagai, Aya Sameshima, Mizuho Sakaguchi, Kozue Ando, Aya Miyama, Yuki Nagasato (sub Karina Maruyama 45mins), Homare Sawa, Shinobu Ohno (sub Mana Iwabuchi 66mins (sub Rumi Utsugi 116mins)).
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