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.
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