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Impressive Germany too hot for Iceland

Iceland 0-3 Germany
The reigning European champions proved much too strong for Iceland and moved to within a point of the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 knockout stages.

Impressive Germany too hot for Iceland
Impressive Germany too hot for Iceland ©UEFA.com

A banner at the Växjö Arena read 'Oscar Wilde greets Germany' and after their opening-game draw, coach Silvia Neid had emphasised to her squad the importance of being earnest.

They responded, and though Lena Lotzen's 24th-minute strike was all the reward they received for a virtually flawless first half, Célia Okoyino da Mbabi's double ensured the reigning champions now need just a point from Wednesday's meeting with Norway in Kalmar to move into the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 quarter-finals as Group B winners.

Though Germany's triumph may not quite turn heads in the same manner as Sweden's 5-0 defeat of Finland 24 hours earlier, the only reason the host nation's victory was not trumped was Iceland goalkeeper Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir. After cradling a Dzsenifer Marozsán volley, and with her side wilting under early pressure, the Avaldsnes IL player then brilliantly tipped a Lotzen header onto the bar.

The chance had been created by Marozsán's pinpoint free-kick, and the 1. FFC Frankfurt midfielder proved equally precise in open play soon after, spying and then superbly finding Lotzen bursting down the right. The FC Bayern München midfielder stepped inside a challenge before measuring a low shot which, this time, was too good for Gunnarsdóttir.

An indication of the significant upgrade in class from their opening display was the step out of the limelight taken by Nadine Angerer, who must have appreciated the work of her opposite number, even if it meant Germany had only the most fragile of half-time leads.

They would have had a greater cushion, however, but Gunnarsdóttir flew low to her left to halt Okoyino da Mbabi's volley before adding another breathtaking stop to an Oscar-winning first-half highlight reel.

Gunnarsdóttir was unable to stem the tide entirely, though. Okoyino da Mbabi's prodigious tally of 17 qualifying goals was evidence enough of her finely tuned predatory qualities, which came to the fore again when Gunnarsdóttir parried Leonie Maier's drive into her path, enabling the forward to double her team's lead.

Unable to direct Marozsán's clipped cross on target after stealing in front of her marker, she then repeated the move to touch in substitute Fatmire Bajramaj's cross from close range – and secure the sort of scoreline Germany's enterprise deserved.

Player of the Match: Célia Okoyino da Mbabi

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