Big two draw a blank
© Foto-net

The eagerly-awaited rematch between last year's FIFA Women's World Cup finalists proved something of an anti-climax, fizzling out to a goalless draw in Shenyang.

In a tense, nervy game dominated by the two sides' defences, a point apiece was certainly a just outcome as neither superpower found it possible to take a firm grip on proceedings.

The Germans, who lined up with the same team that had started against Marta and Co in last year's Shanghai showpiece, probably enjoyed just the better of a drab opening 45, with Sandra Smisek hitting the crossbar from distance in the half's only real effort of note.

Brazil battled back in the second period, however, and Renata Costa was the next to rattle the woodwork when she left Nadine Angerer clutching at thin air with a fizzing long-range drive. This came just seconds after Angerer, who went through the entire FIFA Women's World Cup without conceding, had once again proved her worth to the German cause with a superb save to deny Cristiane, tipping the striker's shot behind for a corner.

Minutes later, with Marta belatedly beginning to exert some influence, the German No1 was forced into action again, racing out to parry at Cristiane's feet. From the rebound, Marta should really have scored, but with the goal gaping, the world's best player missed the chance to atone for her penalty miss in Shanghai by side-footing wide of the far post.