Germany power past Norway into semis
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Germany will meet host nation Japan for a berth in the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup final after a resounding 4-0 win over Norway.

Three goals inside the opening 20 minutes, including a double for Lena Lotzen, ended any hope of Norway outlasting Germany, who are in ominous form as they aim to become the first team to win successive titles.

Any plans Norway had for a tight start were blown away as Dzsenifer Marozsan played in an excellent delivery from the right and Lotzen, finding a metre of space, connected perfectly from near the penalty spot after just five minutes.

Disaster then struck within two minutes for the Norwegians as a free-kick from the right was spilt by goalkeeper Nora Gjoen and Melanie Leupolz had an easy conversion at the back post.

Germany further extended their lead soon after, with Marozsan again the provider. A perfect pass in behind the defence by the FFC Frankfurt forward released Lotzen, who made a perfect run off her defender before converting past the exposed Gjoen for a slick German goal.

Norway to their credit found the feet in attack during the latter stages of the first half and, predictably, it was Caroline Hansen who led the charge, with her silky dribbling skills almost leading to a goal.

However, Gjoen needed to make an excellent save from Marozsan in the final minute of the half to avoid complete disaster for Norway.

Gjoen well and truly redeemed herself midway through the second half with an excellent penalty save from Marozsan, after Ramona Petzelberger had been bundled over in the penalty area.

The match lost some of its impetus in the latter stages, with Norway reduced to ten players after star attacker Hansen was dismissed for a high challenge on goalkeeper Laura Benkarth.

Wensing added to Norway’s pain with five minutes remaining by powering home a textbook far-post header from yet another perfect Marozsan cross.

Norway is a good team so it was important to score the first goal,” said Germany coach Maren Meinert. “Not everything was perfect. We have to watch the game on video and see where we can improve.”

Norway coach Jarl Torske said: “The better won today. Germany is in my opinion the best team in Europe. It was a great experience and a big honour to be here. Korea DPR, Japan and Germany were my favourites before the tournament. It is always good to play against such teams and to learn from other countries, that‘s why World Cups are really important.”