MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - JULY 04: Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer of Germany makes a save during a Germany training session at Borussiapark Stadium on July 4, 2011 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

FIFA Women's World Cup 2011: Germany Vs. France, Canada Vs. Nigeria, Group A

Germany has defeated France in the final round of Group A's matches, giving them first place in the group and a date with Japan. France will play England in the quarterfinals.

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FIFA Women's World Cup 2011: Germany Wins Group A, Will Face Japan In Quarterfinals

Germany and France were both through to the quarterfinals in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup before today's final Group A match, but their positioning remained to be settled. The hosts have prevailed with a 4-2 win that clinches first place in the group and sets up a quarterfinal match against Japan, but they were very much exposed as a team that could be beaten as they looked very poor at defending set pieces.

The first half was all Germany, as Wendie Renard had a nightmarish 45 minute period, completely losing the woman she was supposed to be marking on both of Germany's goals, which were both scored on headers. France came out a different team in the second half, though, and seriously challenged the hosts.

At halftime, regular starters Camille Abily and Marie-Laure Delie, who were both rested, came into the match and France began to look like a much better side as a result. In the 56th minute, Delie added to her already impressive goal-scoring record, notching her 23rd goal in 23 matches with a headed goal on a corner kick. For the next 10 minutes France looked dangerous and it appeared as if the game would be close until the end, but Germany tipped the scales in the 65th minute.

Running onto a ball in the penalty area, Lira Barjamaj appeared to have a clear goal scoring opportunity before she was hacked down in the box by a dangerous tackle from Bérangère Sapowicz. The referee correctly granted a penalty kick and showed Sapowicz a straight red card, meaning that she will be suspended for the quarterfinal. Backup keeper Céline Deville entered, but she was nowhere near stopping the penalty kick of Inka Grings as Germany took a 3-1 lead.

Incredibly, down a woman, France would find another goal to bring the game back into doubt. Once again, bad marking on a corner kick was to blame for the goal as Laura Georges rose up to meet the ball and head it into the back of the net.

France's hope of winning the group would be squashed at the very end of the match, though, as Célia Okoyino da Mbabi scored in the 89th minute, assisted by Inka Grings, to put the match beyond doubt.

In the other match, which has no affect on the knockout stages, Canada and Nigeria were still playing long after the first game finished due to a power outage. Nigeria scored a goal shortly after the lights came on, sealing a 1-0 win and a pointless World Cup for Canada, who have been far and away the most disappointing side at the World Cup so far.

Germany will play Group B runners up Japan in the quarterfinals, while France will play Group B winners England.

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FIFA Women's World Cup 2011: Germany Lead France, Will Play Japan If Result Stands

With France resting some of their key players and Germany benching Birgit Prinz for Inka Grings, the hosts of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup are cruising, up by a score of 2-0 at halftime. Camille Abily and Sonia Bompastor have started on the bench for France as coach Bruno Bini tries to avoid suspensions, and that decision has hurt his team severely. It's possible that Bini doesn't see England as any more of a threat than Japan, but at present, his conservative decision making is setting up a quarterfinal matchup against a seemingly more dangerous opponent.

Kerstin Garefrekes and Inka Grings scored Germany's two goals, both on headers. Wendie Renard is having a poor game, as she was beaten and should have done much better on both headers. The first goal was assisted by Babett Peter on a free kick, while the second was assisted by Simone Laudehr on a cross.

In the other game, which has no bearing on the knockout stages, Canada and Nigeria are tied 0-0 at halftime.

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FIFA Women's World Cup 2011: Germany Vs. France, Canada Vs. Nigeria, Group A

Group A hasn't worked out exactly like it was supposed to in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, but some unexpected results have provided a different kind of excitement than expected. Both Canada and Nigeria have zero points while France and Germany have six each. Germany has showed some chinks in the armor, while France absolutely embarrassed a strong Canada squad. Could the hosts actually lose their group?

If they did, it would be a surprise, but not a total shock. France have not been one of the true powers in women's football over the years, but many saw them as a dark horse coming into this tournament. They have some players with some absolutely outstanding technical skill, and they're not lacking in big game experience either. While none of France's players have dealt with an occasion like a World Cup final, ten of them did manage to win the 2010-11 UEFA Women's Champions League title.

Germany's defense and midfield look strong and organized as ever, but there's a minor controversy going on up top. Birgit Prinz, one of the greatest footballers of all time, playing in her last ever tournament, is looking a tad off the pace. Her play in Germany's first two games has not been up to her normal standard and she's been substituted out of both matches with a great deal of time to go. She's catching some flak from the local press, with many believing that fellow veteran Inka Grings or 20-year-old superstar Alexandra Popp should start up top in her place.

The Germans, despite their slow starts, are still tournament favorites. However, between their poor performance against Nigeria and France's slaughter of Canada, it wouldn't be too shocking if an upset was on the cards. France only needs a draw to win the group, a result that seems very plausible based on recent events.

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