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Germany advance with perfect record

Published: Wednesday 27 September 2006, 10.06CET
Russia 2-3 Germany Three first-half strikes set the holders on their way to a victory in Russia and a spot at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.
by Manfred Christoph
SSI Err
Published: Wednesday 27 September 2006, 10.06CET

Germany advance with perfect record

Russia 2-3 Germany Three first-half strikes set the holders on their way to a victory in Russia and a spot at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The holders Germany confirmed their passage to the FIFA Women's World Cup finals by winning 3-2 in Moscow to end Russia's slender hopes of qualifying for China from Group 4.

Smisek opener
Russia needed a convincing victory to pip Germany to a spot in next year's finals but that was never a possibility as the visitors raced to a 3-0 lead by half-time. Sandra Smisek and Kerstin Garefrekes struck the opening goals on 32 and 36 minutes before Birgit Prinz chipped in with her 99th international goal as the break beckoned.

Late goals
Silvia Neid's side were equally dominant in the second half yet lacked the cutting edge which characterised their earlier play, allowing Russia to give the score an air of respectability thanks to late efforts from Natalia Barbachina and Olga Kremleva.

Eight wins
Ever professional, Neid said: "We wanted to finish the group with a perfect record and we did, although we lost our concentration at the end of the match and that can't happen again." Germany are the only nation to advance having won all eight qualifiers, although Norway and Sweden have each dropped only two points.

Last updated: 28/09/06 14.18CET

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