Germany has won the Women's World Cup football tournament in China. VOA's Jim Stevenson reports from Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai, where the Germans scored a 2-0 victory over Brazil to become the first team to claim consecutive titles in a major women's football competition.
Brazil played an inspired first half in the championship game Sunday. The South American women pressured the German goal and narrowly missed several good scoring chances.
But Germany slowly gained a foothold of control and began to tighten its defense around the energetic Brazilians. The stranglehold became evident in the 52nd minute when captain Birgit Prinz fired the first score from outside the box.
A pivitol save by German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer came in the 64th minute. She stopped a penalty shot by Brazilian star forward Marta [eds: one name], who still ended as the highest scorer at the World Cup with seven goals.
German coach Silvia Neid says her team played as perfect a tournament as possible.
"We worked together well," said Silvia Neid. "We worked good man versus man. We stood tight on defense. We were close to our opponents. There was a will not to allow goals in this tournament."
Midfielder Simone Laudehr sealed the German victory by heading in the insurance goal off a corner kick in the 86th minute.
Brazilian coach Jorge Barcellos says his players were evenly matched with the Germans except in the most important area.
"We created a lot of chances today," said Jorge Barcellos. "But we just missed them. And when Germany made the first real chance, they scored. So the German team is better at finishing in front of the goals."
Germany is the first team among either men or women to finish a senior level FIFA event without allowing a goal. It has happened twice in Olympic tournaments. Also, Angerer now claims the all-time record of minutes played for a goalkeeper without conceding a score (more than 540 minutes).
Earlier, the United States claimed third place with a 4-1 victory over Norway.