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Prinz leads German charge
by Paul Kennedy, September 11th, 2009 7AM



[EUROPEAN WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] Three-time World Player of the Year Birgit Prinz waited until the final of the European Women's Championship to break out of her slump, scoring her first two goals of the tournament to lead Germany to a 6-2 win England in Thursday's final. The European title was the fifth in a row and seventh in the last eight tournaments for Germany.

The 31-year-old Prinz scored the first and last goals for Germany to give her 125 goals in 198 international matches, third best all-time behind Mia Hamm (158 goals) and Kristine Lilly (129).

Inka Grings, who returned to the national team after a three-year layoff, also scored twice to give her six goals, the most at Finland '09.

"I am very happy for [Prinz], especially as she scored the first goal," said Germany coach Silvia Neid. "She worked hard throughout the tournament. [Grings] asked to come back [after three years out of the team]. It proved to be a wonderful decision."

Germany also got goals from Melanie Behringer (a 30-yard blast) and 19-year-old Kim Kulig.

The game marked the last international match for Kerstin Stegemann, whose 191 caps rank only second to Prinz in German history.

England was playing in its first final since the inaugural European Championship 25 years ago. Both England goals were scored by WPS players, Karen Carney and Kelly Smith.

Sept. 10 in Helsinki
Germany 6 England 2. Goals: Prinz 20, 76, Behringer 22, Kulig 51, Grings 62, 73; Carney 24, Smith 55.
Germany -- Angerer, Peter, Bartusiak, Krahn, Bresonik, Behringer (Okoyino da Mbabi, 60), Laudehr, Prinz, Kulig, Garefrekes (Bajramaj, 83), Grings.
England -- Brown, Stoney, Asante, White, A.Scott, Aluko (Sanderson, 81), J.Scott, Williams, Chapman (Westwood, 86), Carney, Smith.
Att.: 15,877.

2009: Germany
2005: Germany
2001: Germany
1997: Germany
1995: Germany
1993: Norway
1991: Germany
1989: Germany
1987: Norway
1984: Sweden


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