WUHAN, China -- Defending champion Germany was too strong
for North Korea, winning 3-0 Saturday to reach the semifinals of
the Women's World Cup.
Germany hasn't allowed a goal in this World Cup, recording its
fourth straight shutout.
Kerstin Garefrekes, Renate Lingor and Annike Krahn scored as
Germany wore down North Korea and booked a match with the winner of
Sunday's Norway-China quarterfinal.
In the first half, the North Koreans broke up German attacks,
preventing the Europeans from establishing a rhythm. At the other
end of the field, stout German defense held off repeated
"We worked in defense quite well," German coach Silvia Neid
said. "It started in midfield where we didn't let them have a lot
of space to move the ball and they couldn't create a lot of
chances, so that was key to the game."
Garefrekes put Germany ahead in the 44th minute, outmaneuvering
three defenders to launch a left-foot shot from 15 yardsthat
swerved past the fingertips of goalie Jon Myong Hui and inside the
North Korea missed back-to-back tying opportunities in the
middle of the second half. Three Koreans got a foot on a ball in
front of the German goal in the 64th minute, but couldn't finish. A
minute later, goalie Nadine Angerer made a spectacular dive to save
a hard shot.
Renate Lingor then widened the margin in the 67th minute with a
goal from 12 yards out, after a nifty one-two exchange with Sandra
Smisek. Krahn added another five minutes later, knocking in a
corner kick with her right hip.
North Korea was playing in the World Cup quarterfinals for the
"Because there were certain fitness and physical differences
between the two teams, it was a hard day for us," coach Kim Kwang
Min said, referring to Germany's height advantage.
Garefrekes is nearly 5-foot-11, while North Korea's tallest
field player is 5-7.
Statistically, the two teams were close. Germany had the edge in
shots, 7-5, but North Korea had possession for a greater part of
"We are just simply not as strong as the German team," Kim
The Koreans held World Cup all-time leading scorer Birgit Prinz
to a quiet game. She was not able to increase her tally of 13 World
Cup goals, and missed her best opportunity at the end of the first
half when her leaping header went wide.
"Honestly it doesn't matter if I don't score a goal. We scored
three goals and that's the important thing, and we won the game,"
she said. "I think we played well today and they had problems with
Neid likes the momentum her team has heading into the
"It was important to play such a good game," Neid said.
"North Korea was one of the favorites for winning the title in the
tournament, so winning against such a team makes me a little more
optimistic that we can move forward."
The final of the 16-team tournament is Sept. 30 in Shanghai.