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FOOTBALL

Germany misses out on Olympics football final

Brazil came from a goal down to stun Germany 4-1 Monday and book a place in the women's Olympic football final, avenging their painful defeat to the European powerhouse in last year's World Cup final.

Germany misses out on Olympics football final
Photo: DPA

Formiga, Marta and a Cristiane brace did the damage, cancelling out a Birgit Prinz strike to set up a gold medal match against either defending champions the United States or Japan in Beijing on Thursday.

Prinz got the opener on 10 minutes, making the breakthrough after a nervy start by both sides. As she so often has in the past, the German captain used her brute strength to muscle her way past a defender and into the box before calmly rounding goalkeeper Barbara and side footing home.

Rattled, Brazil looked to their three most creative players – Cristiane, Marta and Daniela – for inspiration and they duly delivered.

Daniela was proving a handful down the left and it was from her efforts that the South Americans almost got an equaliser with five minutes left in the half. Her deep cross dropped at the feet of defender Simone only for Germany’s Kerstin Garefrekes to make a crucial tackle and put the ball behind for a corner.

The near-miss sparked Brazil to life and three minutes later they were level after Cristiane sent a low cross into the box to the advancing Formiga who smashed the ball into the net from 20 yards. It panicked the world champions who let their guard down again barely a minute later, allowing Marta to strike a long-range effort that goalkeeper Nadine Angerer did well to tip over the bar.

Brazil came out after the break just as determined and were ahead within four minutes after Marta picked up the ball just inside her own half and went rampaging down the middle of the park with Germany caught napping. Drawing the defenders, she laid off the ball to Cristiane in acres of space and the 23-year-old made no mistake for her fourth goal of the tournament.

Brazil had another on 53 minutes when Marta rounded two defenders as she cut into the box on the right before burying the ball with the outside of her left boot.

Germany’s back line was at fault again for the fourth goal when Cristiane danced past three defenders before cooly placing the ball past the oncoming Angerer with 14 minutes left.

Brazil and Germany have been the eternal runners-up of Olympics football. The Brazilians lost the Athens final in 2004 in extra time by 2-1 to the USA while Germany have won bronze in their last two Games. They defeated Brazil in the third-place play-off in Sydney in 2000.

FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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