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SHANGHAI - A ruthlessly efficient Germany tamed Brazil yesterday to win the Women's World Cup final 2-0 with goals from Birgit Prinz and Simone Laudehr making them the first nation to successfully defend their title.
The Germans also owed a huge debt to unbeatable goalkeeper Nadine Angerer who saved a second-half penalty from World Player of the Year Marta that left the Brazilians numb.
The result meant Germany's watertight defence went through the entire tournament without conceding a single goal.
Captain Prinz got the breakthrough in front of a packed Hongkou Football Stadium after 52 minutes when the veteran Frankfurt forward found herself in acres of space when fed the ball by Sandra Smisek.
She thundered a shot on the turn from inside the box and it slid under the diving Andreia, who should have done better.
Brazil came back with a vengeance but no matter what they threw at impregnable Germany they couldn't find the equaliser, and Laudehr's bullet header four minutes from time put the game beyond their reach.
Both sides were creating chances and Daniela was desperately unlucky not to score when she clattered a left-foot volley onto the post with Angerer beaten on 23 minutes.
Brazil had most of the possession and could sense they were getting the upper hand with Marta skipping through two defenders and into the box soon after only to lose control of the ball.
In the third-place playoff, two-time champions the United States beat Norway 4-1. The Americans' tournament top scorer Abby Wambach struck either side of the break with Lori Chalupny and Heather O'Reilly also weighing in before Ragnhild Gulbrandsen got her sixth of the championships for Norway. - Sapa-AP