Substitute Inka Grings' second-half winner maintained Germany's 100 per cent record in UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ Group B as Iceland ended their debut finals empty-handed.
Coach Siggi Eyjólfsson fielded a full-strength side for their final match of the section but, despite a spirited display, Iceland were unable to register their first points of the tournament. Germany trainer Silvia Neid made six changes to the team that beat France 5-1 on Matchday 2 to secure first position in the section as she opted to give several squad members some valuable playing time.
However, if Germany were fielding a depleted side, there was little sign of it on ten minutes when Martina Müller, deputising for Grings in attack, came within centimetres of opening the scoring in a move that only emphasised the depth of quality in Neid's squad. The VfL Wolfsburg striker exchanged a neat one-two with Anja Mittag before launching a 25-metre drive that, to Iceland's relief, rebounded off the underside of the crossbar into the welcoming grasp of goalkeeper Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir.
Chances elsewhere were few and far between, though, with Germany's largely unchanged backline successfully keeping Iceland's forwards at bay. After a goalless first half, Neid introduced Grings for Birgit Prinz and, just five minutes after taking the field, she opened the scoring with her second goal of the final tournament.
Like a dart into the heart of the Iceland defence, Grings burst into the penalty area to flash a low, 12-metre shot off the post. Eyjólfsson's side failed to clear the danger fully, though, as the ball broke to Fatmire Bajramaj wide on the left and she fired it back into the area for Grings to bravely score. That was the last part the FCR 2001 Duisburg striker would play in the match, her 14-minute cameo ended by Neid, presumably as a precautionary measure after an accidental clash with goalkeeper Gunnarsdóttir in opening the scoring.
Iceland had their chances later in the second half, with Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir breaking through on goal only to be denied by Germany No1 Nadine Angerer on 64 minutes, before leading striker Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir shot wide from a similar situation soon after. Eleven minutes from time, they came closer still to the goal they so desperately wanted when Katrín Jónsdóttir headed goalwards from another superb Edda Gardarsdóttir corner kick, only for Babett Peter to clear off the line and end Iceland's hopes.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.