Germany prevail in thriller

With Japan already qualified for the quarter-finals and Congo DR eliminated, the second qualifying place from Group C was to be decided in the match between Germany and Canada in Coquimbo. And the game lived up to expectations, with Germany snatching victory at the death to break Canadian hearts.

A cut-and-thrust beginning to the game, with several half-chances, saw Germany dominate possession but struggle to break down a resilient Canadian defence. On the half-hour, Katharina Baunach's incisive left-wing run ended with a cut-back to Stephanie Goddard, but the latter sent her shot centimetres wide of goal.

Another fine German move just after the interval ended with Nicole Banecki hitting the post, and Germany's lively No11 was to have two more good chances in the succeeding minutes. Germany had assumed the ascendancy in the second half, and on 70 minutes came another golden chance, with Kim Kulig firing a volley onto the underside of the bar.

Finally, on 77 minutes, the Canadian citadel fell. A corner kick sailed in, and Bianca Schmidt's header rebounded off unfortunate keeper Erin McNulty into the net from five yards. But only four minutes later, Canada were level, when Monica Lam-Feist took advantage of a poor clearance and slammed the ball home from just inside the box.

It was left to German substitute Lisa Schwab to seal the win for the Europeans: a defensive error from Canada's Alexandra Marton gave Schwab a chance from close range, and she made no mistake. Germany will meet Brazil in the quarter-finals, while Canada head for home.