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Women's soccer preview: Brazil samba tests perfect German defence in semis
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16:07, August 17, 2008

Brazil will meet Germany in the Olympic Women's soccer semi-final. The Brazilian samba is resolved to break the perfect German defence, but their ruthless, and more organized opponents are also determined to cruise to the final.

It's going to be a match of two sharp contrasting style. The Brazilians are dominating in individual skills and artistic play, while the Germans are top-class in team discipline and efficiency. It's also going to be a quasi- final of the Olympic tournament, as the same teams clashed in last year's FIFA Women's World Cup final, in which Germany won 2-0.

Germany has shown their awesome power so far. After the cautious 0-0 draw with Brazil in the opening group game, they took advantage of efficiency by downing Nigeria and DPR Korea with a single goal respectively. After their 2-0 victory over Sweden in the quarter- finals, the Germans are yet to concede a goal in four games.

Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, German Guardian, became all the more incredible with a string of difficult saves to keep her perfect defence record. Angerer and the defenders created a big miracle by winning Wolrd Cup glory without conceding in 2007.

Germany was not dominant in all the last four games, Brazil, Nigeria, DPR Korea and Sweden all pressured them hard and seemed to be the better side on the pitch, but after the final whistle the winner was always Germany.

Birgit Prinz has not scored a solo goal so far, but she attracted a lot of defensive attention and help other attackers like Kerstin Garefrekes and Simone Laudehr to have chance.

Unlike Germany's steadiness and low-key wins, Brazil has been impressive, after the cautious 0-0 tie with Germany in the opening game, Marta and Co gradually got into form. They beat DPR Korea 2-1 and the Nigerians 3-1, in which Cristiane made a glistening hattrick, before sinking Norway 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

The Auriverde have improved with regard to team combination and are no longer a side of merely excellent individuals. Marta, Cristiane, Deniela and Formiga now have more passes among them in the midfield, and the defence line seemed to have better teamwork. Marta and Cristiane will do their best to shatter the impenetrable jinx of Angerer.

The winner of the clash will meet either the United States of Japan in the final on Aug. 21.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 27 13 9 49
2 USA 17 18 22 57
3 Germany 9 5 5 19
4 Australia 8 10 11 29
5 South Korea 7 9 4 20
6 Japan 7 5 6 18
7 England 7 3 7 17
8 Italy 6 5 5 16
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