World and European Champions Germany sealed their place at the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007 thanks to a 3-2 away win in Moscow on Wednesday.
After a 5-1 win in the first leg, even a 3-0 loss would have been enough to secure the Germans' place at next year's Far Eastern finals. As it was, they took the lead after 32 minutes thanks to a goal from striker Sandra Smisek. Kerstin Garefrekes doubled the lead three minutes later and towering striker Birgit Prinz removed any remaining doubt over the destination of the points with a third in first half injury time (45+2.).
In the second half, the Germans lost their concentration and missed a handful of opportunities. Russia found a way back into the contest and scored twice in the closing minutes, but goals from Natalja Barbaschina (84) and Olga Kremleva (90+2) came too late to change the result.
Denmark hit the mark
The Danish women had a tougher time of it in their crucial contest with impressive Finland on Wednesday night. After an opening half devoid of goals, Maiken Pape stormed through in the 56th minute to put the home side out in front.
The game was played before over 9000 fans in Viborg and the red-clad Danes were able to hold their slender lead through to the end to book their place at next year's world showpiece in China.
"It was a mental win for us today," was Denmark coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller's verdict after the game.