Germany, currently ranked No. 1 in the world in both the men’s and women’s game, is the first nation to book its place in the quarterfinal round of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
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The two-time Women’s World Cup winners (2003 and 2007) advanced to their seventh straight quarterfinals appearance (out of seven) by knocking off Sweden, the current No. 5 team in the world, 4-1, on Saturday.
Anja Mittag opened the scoring for Die Nationalelf when she finished her driving run through the heart of the Swedish midfield and defense with a perfectly placed, curling effort from 22 yards out. Mittag’s fifth goal of the tournament pinged off the inside of the far post and found the back of the net in the 24th minute.
Celia Sasic doubled the Germans’ lead when she converted from the penalty spot 12 minutes later, giving her goal No. 4 of the 2015 World Cup. Sasic grabbed her second of the game and fifth of the tournament in the 78th minute, when she headed home the rebound of Simone Laudehr’s shot off the far post to make the score 3-0.
Sweden pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute, when Linda Sembrant headed home Therese Sjogran’s free kick toward the German penalty spot, but it was very much too little, too late for Pia Sundhage’s side.
Dzsenifer Marozsan restored Germany’s three-goal lead in the 88th minute, when her half-clearance/half-shot floated over the head of Sweden goalkeeper Hedvin Linahl and tucked itself just under the crossbar and inside the far post for Maroszan’s first goal of the tournament.
Germany now await the outcome of Sunday’s round of 16 matchup between France and South Korea, the winner of which will face the tournament’s overwhelming favorites in the quarterfinals next Friday. A semifinals showdown with the US women’s national team could follow.