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Germany ends hosts’ dreams, advances to fourth straight U-20 WWC semifinal

Pauline Bremer scored the game-winner to lift Germany into the semifinals. (Getty Images)

Pauline Bremer scored the game-winner to lift Germany into the semifinals. (Getty Images)

U-20 Women’s World Cup hosts Canada are out of the 2014 tournament after losing to Germany, 2-o on Saturday in the quarterfinals in Edmonton.

Pauline Bremer opened the scoring for Germany midway through the first half and Rebecca Knaak clinched the game with a late goal to send Germany through to the semifinals for the fourth straight World Cup.

Canada’s valiant effort included several near-goals and agonizing misses, but the hosts were unable to recreate the magic of 2002 that saw them advance to the final of this competition — then the inaugural U-19 Women’s World Championship — before losing to the U.S. in the same stadium in Edmonton.

Emma Fletcher nearly gave Canada its dream start in the 9th minute, when her long-range shot smacked off the crossbar and back out into play. It was Canada’s best chance of the first half.

Fifteen minutes later, Bremer put the favored Germans ahead, breaking through Canada’s high defensive line to get in behind, where Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan did well to force Bremer wide. But the German cut back inside and drilled a ball past three retreating Canadian defenders, sneaking it into a small space at the near post for the opening goal.

Sheridan would deny Bremer on a golden opportunity just after halftime, and Sheridan smothered the ball at Bremer’s feet again in the 81st minute. But Knaak headed the ball into the net on the ensuing corner kick, booking Germany’s ticket to Montreal for the semifinals, where they will play the winner of Sunday’s France-Korea Republic match.

Canada frantically tried to get one back, and nearly did just seconds after the following kickoff. Substitute Amandine Pierre-Louis’ shot, however, trickled wide of the far post. Lindsay Agnew’s subsequent chances from six yards out in the 86th minute were the last for Canada, as several U-20 players now turn their attention to next year’s senior World Cup on home soil.

Earlier Saturday, Korea DPR defeated the United States in penalty kicks on the other side of the bracket.


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