Germany strike late again
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Rebecca Knaak gave Anouschka Bernhard the perfect birthday present by seeing Germany into the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup semi-finals at Brazil's expense, but she was made to wait for it.

Knaak struck deep into injury-time to complete a 2-1 comeback victory, after Sara Daebritz had cancelled out Djenifer's opener at the 8km Stadium. It was their second decisive stoppage-time goal after equalising at the death against China PR.

The game began tentatively as both sides felt each other out, but Brazil settled the quicker, Byanca having the first effort of note as she headed over from a corner. It wasn’t long though before A Selecao took the lead too, with midfielder Djenifer on hand to capitalise on another corner.

The No8 was all alone at the back post after Chiane’s centre flicked to her feet off a German head, controlling the ball before applying a composed finish.

Brazil continued to look the more dangerous, with Germany not worrying Nicole until midway into the half when Theresa Panfil rippled the side-netting. They began to grow into the game and on the 30 minutes influential captain Daebritz levelled things up, firing accurately into the corner from the edge of the box after being fed by Vivien Beil.

Prior to this Pauline Bremer had succumbed to injury and her replacement Ricarda Kiessling almost capitalised on a deflected Beil cross, but headed straight at Nicole from two yards. The Brazilian injured herself in the process though, seeing Taina introduced.

Her first job was standing tall to prevent Daebritz from putting Germany in front, right on the stroke of half-time, after the midfield dynamo had burst forward.

Brazil were again the first to find their feet once play began again, Byanca showing sublime feet to craft space on the edge of the German area only to fire over. Theresa Panfil spurned a great chance when she miscued from 12 yards out but it was rare of them to retain possession for any considerable period.

Neither side made any headway, but Taina had to be quick of mind to tip Beil’s cross onto the bar as it threatened to drift in with 15 minutes remaining. Kiessling went close to winning it with a stunning effort, cutting across the defender to open up space on her left foot before unleashing a shot towards the near top corner, but just swerving wide.

However, with the game looking destined for penalties Rebecca Knaak struck right at the death, hitting a fine side-footed volley following Daebritz's corner to break Brazilian hearts.

The quote
"It was an exciting match between two very equal teams and we are obviously very happy to have won. I think we deserved to win because of our performance in the second half. It was very emotional at the end and I simpathize with my colleague as it's very hard to lose a match in the last minute." Anouschka Bernhard, Germany coach