Defending champion Germany reaches semis at World Cup

Sep 22, 2007 - 1:57 PM WUHAN, China (Ticker) -- Defending world champion Germany secured its place in the semifinals of the 2007 Women's World Cup with a 3-0 victory over North Korea on Saturday.

Goals from Kerstin Garefrekes, Renate Lingor and Annike Krahn ensured the victory for Germany and brought to an end an impressive campaign for North Korea at the Wuhan Sports Center Stadium.

North Korea had started well and in the 23rd minute were denied an opener when Kil Son Hui ran past a defender into the box but sent her shot high over the bar.

Germany's Sandra Smisek sent a diving header into the side netting as the defending champions looked to stamp their authority on the game.

In the 37th minute the dangerous Birgit Prinz went on a driving run into the box, leaving defenders in her wake, but her low cross into the area was cleared by the North Korea defence.

But, with their first shot on target, Germany took the lead just one minute before half-time though Garefrekes.

The Frankfurt midfielder broke into the box before wrong-footing a clutch of defenders and curling a delightful shot beyond Jon Myong Hui and into the back of the net.

In the 56th minute Ri Kum Suk went through on goal but was unable to make the crucial touch that would have seen her flick the ball over the on-rushing Angerer.

Sonu Kyong Sun deflected Lingor's goalbound shot out for a corner soon after with goalkeeper Jon off her line.

North Korea then made one too many passes in the box when they should have shot as first Kil won possession and passed to Ri Un Suk, who mis-hit effort just went out of the reach of Ri Kum Suk and wide of goal.

But they managed to come closer still in the 65th minute when Ri Un Gyong's shot was superbly palmed away by Angerer.

It proved to be a crucial save as Germany, who had created few chances in the opening exchanges of the second period, added to their lead two minutes later.

A clever move in North Korea's box gave Lingor a clear sight on goal and she sent a smart finish beyond the reach of Jon and into the back of the net.

And Krahn ensured Germany's place in the semi-finals in the 72nd minute when the ball rebounded off the back of the Duisburg defender's knee and into the back of the net from a Melanie Behringer corner.

North Korea could have added a deserved consolation in stoppage time when Jong Pok Sim was sent through on goal but her touch to push the ball beyond Angerer was too heavy and the chance passed.

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