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Bajramaj strikes bronze for Germany

Published: Thursday 21 August 2008, 23.00CET
Two second-half goals from Fatmire Bajramaj earned Germany their third consecutive Olympic bronze medal while the United States claimed gold again.
Bajramaj strikes bronze for Germany
Two-goal Fatmire Bajramaj was Germany's hero ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 21 August 2008, 23.00CET

Bajramaj strikes bronze for Germany

Two second-half goals from Fatmire Bajramaj earned Germany their third consecutive Olympic bronze medal while the United States claimed gold again.
Two second-half goals from forward Fatmire Bajramaj earned Germany a 2-0 win against Japan and their third consecutive bronze medal in the women's Olympic football tournament while the United States again claimed gold by beating Brazil.

Double joy
The 20-year-old Bajramaj, a 59th-minute substitute, had been on the pitch for ten minutes when she broke the deadlock, before her second strike close to full time clinched victory in a well-contested third place play-off match in Beijing. First Bajramaj reacted quickest to a loose ball in the area after Kerstin Garefrekes's header had been parried, scoring from a narrow angle. She then sealed Germany's position on the podium in the 87th minute, finishing off a slick counterattack with a precise low shot.

Lingor bows out
However, goalkeeper Nadine Angerer was equally important to this success for Silvia Neid's side. The Germany No1 led the resistance during a first half dominated by Japan, making a brilliant save from Aya Miyama. An improved second-half display eventually brought its reward. Bajramaj said: "We were frustrated to miss out on gold. But now we are happy with bronze." The game was the last in the career of midfielder Renate Lingor after 149 caps, three Olympic bronze medals, two FIFA Women's World Cups, two UEFA European Women's Championship wins and two UEFA Women's Cups with 1. FFC Frankfurt. Later in Beijing, the team that beat Germany to the final, Brazil, lost out in the decider just as in 2004 to the US, 1-0 after extra time. That gave the US their third gold in four Olympic tournaments.

Last updated: 26/08/08 12.05CET

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