Germany 6-3 Japan
Germany continued their preparations for next year's FIFA Women's World Cup with a convincing friendly victory against Japan in front of more than 12,000 fans in Karlsruhe on the day Birgit Prinz became their outright most-capped player.
The hosts showed their intent early on as both Prinz and Petra Wimbersky went close before the latter of the 1. FFC Frankfurt duo opened the scoring after nine minutes. Further goals by Prinz, winning her 155th cap to pass Bettina Wiegmann's record, and Célia Okoyino Da Mbabi completed a first half of German dominance in which Japan failed to pose any threat to home goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, who had started as a replacement for the injured Silke Rottenberg.
After the interval Japan started with renewed energy however and deservedly scored when Shinobu Ohno found the net on 53 minutes. World and European champions Germany soon put any doubts about the result to rest though as Kerstin Garefrekes extended the lead on the hour, Wimbersky swiftly added another and half-time substitute Conny Pohlers found the target in the 76th minute. There was still time for Japan to register a level of respectibility on the scoreline with Aya Miyama and Karina Maruyama in the last ten minutes. It was a disappointing ending for the backline but at least defender Kerstin Stegemann had something to celebrate along with the win as she gained her 150th cap.
World Cup defence
Germany thus ended a year in which they lifted the prestigious Algarve Cup for the first time and qualified for the World Cup with a perfect record. They return to action with a four-nation tournament in China from 26-30 January, where they return in September to defend the World Cup. They will also learn their UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying opponents when the draw is made on 13 December - with the holders as top seeds.
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