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Germany face soccer showdown with Japan

AFP · 9 Jul 2011, 09:22

Published: 09 Jul 2011 09:22 GMT+02:00

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But Japan forward Yuki Nagasato is refusing to be daunted by their quarter-final match in Wolfsburg against the football tournament's hosts and defending champions.

Japan impressed in Group B with convincing wins over New Zealand and Mexico before they lost 2-0 to England in their final group game, and Nagasato, who plays for Turbine Potsdam in Germany, is relishing taking on the Germans.

"I'm look forward to playing them," she said. "I know the German players well, that way I can help my team prepare for the match. Germany may be big and strong, but that doesn't matter to me."

"In football, size is not necessarily important. We just have to think about how we want to play against them."

With 32 goals in 66 appearances for Japan, Nagasato opened her goal-scoring account at Germany 2011 in the 2-1 win over New Zealand in the opening game.

But veteran Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer is aiming for a clean sheet against the Japanese and warned against complacency.

"The mood is good, but we must not be careless and think it's going to be easy", she said.

Germany coach Silvia Neid left out captain Birgit Prinz, the most capped player in women's football, for their 4-2 win over France in their final group game after two below-par performances.

And the 33-year-old, who will retire after the tournament, expects to start on the bench again against Japan.

"I do not think I'm going to play from the beginning," said Prinz. "There is no reason to change anything in the attack."

Germany's playmaker Fatmire Bajramaj made her first start of the tournament against France and says the Japanese will be a step up from the French, who breached the German defence twice.

Story continues below…

"They have developed and so have we," said Bajramaj, who scored both goals in Germany's 2-0 win over Japan at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as they claimed the bronze medal.

"Japan are definitely stronger than France."

Both defensive midfielder Simone Laudehr and Kim Kulig face suspension if they pick up another yellow card, while defender Linda Bresonik is back fit after stomach problems before the France game.

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Your comments about this article

15:09 July 9, 2011 by Englishted
"Japan are definitely stronger than France.

Oh that is nice to hear, when England are to play France after beating Japan.

I hope she is right.

Go on Germany ,hope to see you in the final.
18:45 July 9, 2011 by german-guardian
Go Germany. Please win over Japan. May God be with you.
23:17 July 9, 2011 by auniquecorn
I predict o-1 in overtime, Japan
23:29 July 9, 2011 by vonSchwerin

You must be psychic -- or you just waited until the match was over to post your "prediction". Thanks.
02:34 July 10, 2011 by german-guardian
Germany played her best and had a lot of fun. Even though we lost, we will come back stronger next world cup. Perhapse, For the European 2012 world cup Germany will win and for the world cup 2014 Germany will also win. Any strong and good athelete might lose, but the strong, proud and the champions learn how to pick themselves up and become better. Giving up over a loss is for the fools. The improtant thing was that we played our best and came this far and left our mark in the world cup, and we will win the next world cup, or the one after that. God bless all, and have a nice day.
08:01 July 10, 2011 by marimay
The German team was over-hyped in the first place.
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