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Germany triumph in Thailand

Germany lifted the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in Bangkok with a 2-0 defeat of China.

Germany lifted the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship trophy in Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium on Saturday as goals at the start and end of the match, from Simone Laudehr and Melanie Behringer, earned a 2-0 victory against China.

World glory
Silvia Neid's side, who were runners-up to Spain in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship earlier this year, captured the world crown in style, scoring 19 goals in their six matches in the tournament. They took the lead inside four minutes, Anja Mittag winning a free-kick on the left-hand side and forcing a diving stop from Chinese goalkeeper Zhang Yanru with a header from the resulting set-piece. Laudehr was the first to react to the rebound, however, sliding in to give the European side the perfect start.

Germany in command
The early strike clearly unsettled China, and Laudehr might have doubled the lead in the eleventh minute, racing on to Mittag's perceptive through-ball only to drag her shot wide of the target. Germany took control of the match in the opening half, with Liu Sa's header that flashed wide following a 24th-minute corner the closest China came to drawing level.

Missed opportunities
Laudehr, Mittag and Karolin Thomas all had chances to increase Germany's advantage as half-time approached, but none managed to hit the target from promising positions. The second half continued along similar lines, with much of the game compressed in midfield, although German goalkeeper Tessa Rinkes was forced to push away substitute Xu Yuan's cross-shot on the hour.

Mittag magic
The irrepressible Mittag then created two chances in quick succession, first finding Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi but the midfield player's shot was expertly turned around the post by Zhang Yanru. Seconds later Mittag found space of the edge of the area, but shot high over the bar.

Clinching second
Neid's side always looked in control, and wrapped up the win seven minutes from time. Mittag attracted all the attention in the Chinese penalty area, holding off a number of defenders before finding Behringer 20 metres out, and the German midfield player made no mistake.

'Special achievement'
"Our goal was to be one of the last four teams in the tournament, and it's obviously a very special achievement to win the world championship," said Neid. "China played well and made it difficult for us; we knew they would play defensively, but we were able to make and finish some chances like we have done throughout the tournament."

'Team spirit'
German captain Annike Krahn was in jubilant mood, saying: "It's a special honour for us to be world champions, and it's a special honour for me to play in such a team. The most important thing throughout the tournament for us was team spirit, and it carried us through a difficult final."

American bronze
Earlier, the United States, who lost to Germany in the semi-finals, overcame Brazil to take the bronze medal, with Kerri Hanks, Megan Rapinoe and Angie Woznuk scoring in a comfortable 3-0 win.