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Germany and US into World Cup semis
Germany and the USA both score 3-0 victories in their respective quarter-finals.
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2007 18:09 GMT

Germany's Kerstin Garefrekes, left, scored the opening goal for her side in a 3-0 win [GALLO/GETTY]

Germany, Fifa Women's World Cup defending champions, powered into the semi-finals of the fifth edition of the tournament with a convincing 3-0 victory over North Korea, shattering the hopes of the Asian number ones in Wuhan.
 
The USA also went through to the semis with a 3-0 win over England in Tianjin.
In Wuhan, Kerstin Garefrekes scored just before halftime, with Renate Lingor and Annike Krahn hitting the target in the second half to ensure Germany remain on track to be the only team to defend its title since the World Cup began 16 years ago.
"North Korea was one of our favourites for the title so to beat them gives us a lot of optimism moving forward," said Silvia Neid, Germany coach.
 
"We were very good in defence but it was a good team performance.
 
"We didn't give them space in midfield, which was key to the game, and we scored goals at the right time."
 
Germany went into the match at Wuhan Sports Center Stadium as clear favourites, but wary of a North Korean side seen as the dark horses of the tournament after impressive form in the group games.
 
In a flowing first-half, Germany had the first chance in the seventh minute when Garefrekes sent a weak left-foot shot wide from the edge of the penalty area, before Melanie Behringer hit an effort from 35 metres with her pile driver narrowly off target.
 

"We didn't give them space in midfield, which was key to the game, and we scored goals at the right time."

Silvia Neid,
German coach

North Korea came close after 11 minutes as striker Kim Yong Ae broke free and sent a low shot in under pressure with German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer only parrying, but Ri Un Gyung unable to take advantage of the loose ball.
 
Germany brought roars from the sparse crowd in the 28th minute when Behringer whipped over a cross from the left only to see Sandra Smisek's diving header fly into the side-netting.
 
Elusive goal
 
Midfielder Garefrekes finally got the deserved goal in the 44th minute when she picked up the ball on the edge of the area and curled a left-foot shot past the diving Jon Myong-Hui.
 
Korea came out fired up in the second period with most of the opening 20 minutes played in Germany's half, although three Korean players failed to find the net in a goalmouth scramble in the 64th minute and came close soon after when Angerer pulled off an acrobatic save.
 
However Neid's team soaked up the pressure and made it 2-0 against the run of play made in the 67th minute when Smisek played a delicate back-heel into the path of Lingor, who made no mistake.
 
With North Korea rattled, the Germans piled forward and Krahn put the game beyond doubt by kneeing home a Behringer corner with 18 minutes left.
 
Germany's victory sends them through to a semi-final in Tianjin on Wednesday against the winner of the quarter-final between Norway and China, which will be played in Wuhan on Sunday.
 
USA breeze past England
 
The USA's Abby Wambach opened the scoring
with an early second-half goal [GALLO/GETTY]
Meanwhile in Tianjin, top ranked United States also waited until the second half to score all of their goals in a 3-0 win over England and move through to the semi-finals.
 
England were shocked with three goals in 12 minutes starting with forward Abby Wambach powering home a header three minutes after the break.
 
Shannon Boxx landed the second blow on 57 minutes, and three minutes later it was all over when veteran striker Kristine Lilly capitalised on goalkeeper Rachel Brown misreading a bouncing ball to convert the simplest of tap-ins.
 
"The first goal is always critical in a match. It was difficult for England to get their game going after that," said Greg Ryan, American coach.
 
"They lost a bit of momentum, we kept pressing and went after them.
 
"It was very important to get that goal and we got two others very quickly."
 
The US will meet the winner of the quarter-final between Brazil and Australia in a semi-final in in Hangzhou on Thursday.
Source:
Agencies
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