Germany march on at World Cup

HANGZHOU, China - Defending champion Germany, with a record-setting goal from Birgit Prinz, beat Japan 2-0 yesterday to advance to the quarterfinals of the women's World Cup.

HANGZHOU, China - Defending champion Germany, with a record-setting goal from Birgit Prinz, beat Japan 2-0 yesterday to advance to the quarterfinals of the women's World Cup.

England was the second team to advance from Group A with a 6-1 win over Argentina in Chengdu.

Germany finished the group stage with seven points, followed by England with five, Japan with four and Argentina with none.

Germany will meet the second place team from Group B on Saturday - probably the United States or North Korea. England gets the Group B winner, again probably the US or North Korea. Group B wraps up today.

Germany dominated the game and opened the scoring when the ball fell to Prinz's feet off a corner kick in the first half.

She quickly buried the ball into the top of the net for her 13th goal in World Cup finals competition.

That breaks the record Prinz shared with American Michelle Ackers.

Renate Lingor added a late penalty for Germany.

Germany, playing without midfielder Simone Laudehr who was suspended because she had picked up two yellow cards, could have scored more except for poor shooting and excellent goalkeeping by Miho Fukumoto.

Fukumoto robbed Petra Wimbersky in the fifth minute, tipping a hard shot over the bar.

She also needed to be sharp to turn away a hard shot from substitute Fatmire Bajramaj midway through the second half.

Wimbersky missed an open goal with 15 minutes left, disappointing the pro-German crowd of 39 800 at the Hangzhou Dragon Stadium.

Germany and England have to wait a day to find out their quarterfinal opponents, but both face tough games.

The US and North Korea are favored to advance from a group that also features Sweden and Nigeria, but the order will not be known until the final group games are played today. - Sapa-AP

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