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Germany score four in victory over Japan

Germany 4-2 Japan
Célia Okoyino da Mbabi's double and goals from Leonie Maier and Simone Laudehr earned a victory against the world champions.

Célia Okoyino da Mbabi celebrates scoring Germany's second in their victory over Japan
Célia Okoyino da Mbabi celebrates scoring Germany's second in their victory over Japan ©Getty Images

Germany will go into their opening UEFA Women's EURO Group B game full of confidence after a 4-2 victory against world champions Japan in Munich.

Germany dominated the early proceedings and, after several near misses, Leonie Maier gave them a 17th-minute lead. Shinobu Ohno equalised and then Yuki Ogimi pegged the hosts back following a Célia Okoyino da Mbabi penalty. With time running out, Okoyino da Mbabi grabbed her second courtesy of a deflection and Simone Laudehr added a fourth from the spot at the death.

Germany made one change to the team that beat Canada ten days ago with Luisa Wensing replacing central defender Annike Krahn, who was sidelined with a thigh injury but is expected to return to training on Sunday. Germany dominated the early stages of their final warm-up match before UEFA Women's EURO 2013 in front of a record crowd of 46,104 for a friendly at the Fußball Arena München. Okoyino da Mbabi came close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute after a fine one-two with Lena Goessling.

Japan had just settled into the game when Germany took the lead with an accurate Maier strike from just inside the area. Silvia Neid's charges continued to dominate with Okoyino da Mbabi and Anja Mittag threatening before Lena Lotzen saw her header repelled by Japan No1 Miho Fukumoto.

Five minutes before the break, Japan equalised against the run of play when Shinobu Ohno fired past Nadine Angerer, but just 55 seconds after the break Nadine Kessler was felled in the area and recent 1. FFC Frankfurt signing Okoyino da Mbabi kept her cool from the spot to reestablish Germany's lead. However, Japan responded quickly and were back on terms when Aya Miyamas's free-kick hit a post and Ogimi converted the rebound.

The game lost its rhythm as both sides made several changes in the second half, but just as the match seemed headed for a draw, Okoyino da Mbabi's deflected strike meant Germany forged ahead with just minutes remaining. Substitute Laudehr put the result beyond any doubt after she was brought down in the penalty area and then stepped up to convert from the spot in added time.

Germany coach Neid was delighted with her team's performance but is refusing to get carried away after a friendly victory. "Of course, I am very pleased, we beat the world champions," she said. "We played well without the ball, were physically strong and switched quickly from defense to attack.

"Our passing game was not perfect, though. We lost the ball too often and missed too many opportunities. Overall we produced a great performance and our morale is good, so it was a great day and we enjoyed the game a lot. However, we shouldn't forget it was just a friendly."

The German team will travel to Sweden on 7 July and play their first Group B game against the Netherlands on 11 July in Vaxjo. World champions Japan started their short European tour on Saturday with a 1-1 draw away to Germany's fellow finalists England.