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Jun, 30, 2011

France and Germany progress

France and Germany secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Women's World Cup on Thursday with a game to spare.

France cruised past Canada in the first game of the day, steamrollering their rivals with a 4-0 win. It means France go into the final match of Group A in top spot having not conceded a goal so far.

Gaetane Thiney netted the opening goal in the 24th minute in Bochum, latching onto a deflected Elise Bussaglia shot to head past goalkeeper Erin McLeod. And it was Thiney who doubled the advantage on the hour on her 50th cap, curling the ball home after capitalising on a poor pass from Emily Zurrer.

Any hopes of Canada, who had been expected to get out of the group, pulling the game back were over six minutes later when Camille Abily made it three. Abily was allowed a free header from a Sandrine Soubeyrand corner.

France underlined their superiority in the 83rd minute. Subsitute Elodie Thomis beat the offside trip to race clear and fire home from Louisa Necib's pass.

Germany beat a determined Nigeria 1-0 in the later game.

Simone Laudehr and Kim Kulig both went close for the hosts, bringing good saves out of Precious Dede. And Nigeria almost had a chance of their own when Sarah Michael played a dangerous ball across the box but there was no one there to meet it.

Germany lost midfielder Melanie Behringer with an injury on the half hour, and it looked as though her tournament could be over.

The crucial goal came on 54 minutes, Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi's free-kick led to Laudehr powering the ball home.

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