A run of 45 consecutive major competition wins stretching back to a 1999 qualifier against Italy is over for Germany after they were held to a goalless draw by England in FIFA Women's World Cup Group A.
England manager Hope Powell, whose team were held 2-2 by a late Japan equaliser on Tuesday, fielded an unusually defensive formation with Jill Scott and Anita Asante coming into the starting lineup while Germany - fresh from their competition record opening 11-0 defeat of Argentina - were missing the injured Sandra Minnert at the back. The game, in rainy conditions, was tight from the start, though England captain Faye White went close with a header before Germany threatened when Kerstin Stegemann’s cross was met by Kerstin Garefrekens but saved by Rachel Brown.
England hold on
Little changed after the break and few real chances were created until Birgit Prinz broke through on 72 minutes but under pressure from White could not beat Brown, who later did brilliantly to keep out an effort from Garefrekes with her feet. Japan defeated Argentina 1-0 with a late winner so are level with Germany on four points, two ahead of England. The top two meet on Monday, when England need a victory against eliminated Argentina.
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