Germany have missed out on topping their group in the UEFA Women's Euro 2013, but advance to the knockout stage. The 1-0 loss to Norway is the first time Germany have been beaten in the finals in two decades.
Germany's impressive unbeaten run in Euro Championship matches - which stretches back over 59 games and almost 20 years - finally came to an end at the Kalmar Arena on Wednesday evening in Sweden.
It was the Germans who started out best as Norwegians struggled to break through on the attack, also looking a little wobbly - and unable to satisfactorily clear the all - at the back.
Soon the Germans were taking their chances, with Celia Okoyino da Mbabi posing a threat on more than one occasion. Opportunities also fell to Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan, with Luisa Wensing hitting the woodwork on the half hour mark.
But the first goal did not come until just ahead of the break. And it did so against the run of play - coming for the Norwegians. Norway's Ingvild Isaksen's shot took a deflection off one of her teammates. The ball deceived Germany keeper Nadine Angerer to find its way into goal.
Pressure on for Norway
After the break, Germany began to pile on the pressure with Nadine Kessler, Luisa Wensing and Okoyino da Mbabi failing to grab the vital equalizer. Norway were organized in defense, only rarely leaving themselves exposed at the back.
In the end, though, Germany were unable to maintain their impressive record - allowing Norway to top Group B. Germany go on to face Italy in their next game, at Vaxjo, on Sunday.
"It's nice that we have been able to have such a good run, but everything has to come to an end sooner or later," said Germany trainer Silvia Neid.
Despite finishing third in the same group, Iceland also got through to the knockout stage on the grounds of their performance, having beaten the bottom-of-the-pile Netherlands 1-0.
rc/hc (dpa, Reuters)