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Germany downs Brazil; repeats as Women's World Cup champ
by Ridge Mahoney, October 1st, 2007 7AM

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TAGS:  women's national team, women's world cup

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So, Marta is mortal after all. And four years after winning its first Women's World Cup, Germany is the first team to repeat as champion. Birgit Prinz and Simone Laudehr scored the goals, and keeper Nadine Angerer stopped Marta's penalty kick as Germany reclaimed the trophy it won four years ago by beating Brazil, 2-0, in the final. The Brazilians at times mesmerized their foes but weren't quite as efficient at the crucial moments.

VIDEO highlights of the Women's World Cup final.

Kerstin Garefrekes shot into the side netting and Daniela hit the post as the teams traded chances in the first half. Sandra Smisek scooped a shot over the bar from close range but early in the second half ran onto a ball on the right flank and cut it back for Prinz to shoot low first time. Goalkeeper Andreia, caught moving across her goal, lunged but let the shot slip under her body.

The match played out according to traditional themes: Brazil by far the more dazzling, but Germany solid and resilient and not short of skill. Annike Krahn spurned a great chance to double the lead when she headed Renate Lingor's corner kick wide, and soon enough Brazil earned the chance to punish that miss.

Cristiane burst into the penalty area and crashed to the ground under Linda Bresonik's desperate tackle. To the penalty spot stepped Marta, who had gone low to the goalie's left to convert a penalty against Australia in the quarterfinals. This time she went low again but only slightly to the goalie's right, and Angerer smothered it easily.

Angerer saved again a few minutes later, more or less, when a Cristiane free kick rattled off her and the goalpost before bouncing clear. Laudehr sealed victory in the 86th minute by leaping to head Renate Lingor's swerving corner kick into the net.

Germany finished the tournament unscored upon to become the first team in any FIFA world championship event to win a title while not conceding a goal. Brazil, a 2-1 loser to the USA in the 2004 Olympic gold-medal match, must look to next year's Olympics as the next chance to reach the highest step on the podium.



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