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Women's World Cup: Germany march on to knockout stages

Silvia Neid's side are one of the favorites for the competition in Canada and will now compete in the Round of 16. A 4-0 win over Thailand secured their progression.

Thailand 0-4 Germany

(Leupolz 24', Petermann 56', 58', Däbtriz 73')

Germany has qualified for the knockout phase of the FIFA Women's World Cup following a 4-0 win over Thailand in Winnipeg to seal top-spot in the group.

Melanie Leupolz and Lena Petermann fired the Germans on course to the Last 16 where they could play one of the strongest third-place sides in the next round. Petermann scored twice having come off the bench at the break and Sara Däbritz added a fourth.

Following a win and draw in their opening two fixtures, Germany still had work to do on the final set of fixtures. Norway picked up a 3-1 win over Ivory Coast to secure the second qualification position.

With seven changes to the team from the 1-1 draw against Norway, Silvia Neid's players looked slightly out-of-sync with each other. Melanie Behringer forced an early save from Waraporn Boonsing, shuffling on to her right-foot and striking towards the top corner only for the Thailand international to palm clear.

Yet, Germany's lack of cohesion was evident a few minutes later. A long clearance created a one-vs-one situation for Thai striker Kanjana Song-Ngoen who looked uncertain approaching the German goal and eventually was dispossessed.

That was as close a blue shirt got to Nadine Angerer's goal in the first 45 minutes. The onslaught continued at the other end with Frankfurt striker Celia Sasic leading from the front. Her physical presence and outstanding leap proved unplayable for a weaker Thai defense and she should have been on target inside 20 minutes.

But four minutes later, Melanie Leupolz netted from a corner-kick to move Germany into first-place in the group after Norway had done ahead earlier in the evening's action. Leupolz, one of four Bayern Munich players in the side, showed power and poise to head in Behringer's in swinging corner-kick midway through the half.

Adding to the 10 shots racked up in the first 30 minutes, Champions League-winner Sasic was thwarted by Boosning who blocked a shot from close range. Sasic headed wide from a Blanca Schmidt cross on 43 minutes and had a shot blocked a minute-or-so earlier.

Substitutions changed the complexion of the game for Germany with Anja Mittag and Petermann coming off the bench to score. The latter managed a quick-fire double: the first a powerful header from close range on 56 minutes until she added a third two minutes later.

A fourth came 17 minutes from the end when Däbritz was presented an easy finish, slamming into the empty net to secure a comfortable passage for Germany to the Round of 16 stage.

Germany's campaign resumes on Saturday June 20 in Ottawa where they will play one of the best third-placed teams in the tournament.

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