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Five Aside

Germany ease, Delie downs Nigeria

Hosts Germany kicked off their Women's World Cup campaign with a comfortable 2-1 win over Canada, thanks to goals from Kerstin Garefrekes and Celia Okoyino da Mbabi.

The current champions were in fine form early on, overpowering their opponents and taking advantage of some sloppy defending from Canadian Marie-Eve Nault to go ahead through a Garefrekes header in the 10th minute after a cross from Babett Peter.

Germany struck again three minutes before the half as Da Mbabi kept her cool after being sent through on goal to slot under goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

Two changes for Canada at half-time did not make a difference as Germany continued to dominate and they should have been further ahead but for the miss of tournament from Garefrekes with an empty net gaping.

Still, Canada kept going and, with seven minutes left got their reward as captain Christine Sinclair scored her 117th international goal with a glorious curled free-kick that saw Germany concede their first goal in the competition for 678 minutes, dating back to the 2003 final in the USA.

Earlier, Marie-Laure Delie scored the opening goal of the tournament as France took all three points in Group A, beating Nigeria 1-0.

The French were on top throughout, although Nigeria posed an occasional threat on the counter attack, and the deadlock was broken 11 minutes after the break as Eugenie Le Sommer beat her defender to square for Louisa Necib who missed the ball, only for Delie to hammer home.

France held on to pick up their first win since the group stage at USA 2003, while the result saw Nigeria's winless run extended to eight matches dating back to 1999.


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