Germany tops Group D, halts gallant Haiti 3-2

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Germany finished the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup group stage on Monday with a perfect record after a 3-2 victory against Haiti at Vannes’s Stade de la Rabine.

Laura Freigang opened the scoring from close range, before Kristin Kogel doubled the lead shortly after the break.

Klara Buhl made it three for Germany on the hour-mark, while Haiti captain Nerilia Mondesir netted a second half brace to put pressure on the Germans.

After making it three wins from three, Maren Meinert’s team will now face Japan — who finished second in Group C — in France 2018’s quarter-finals.

Germany applied early pressure with Dina Orschmann seeing an effort go narrowly wide after just two minutes.

They bagged the opener on 18 minutes when defender Sarai Linder embarked on a valiant run.

She charged towards the byline before sending a low ball into the centre of the area for Freigang to tap home.

Orschmann had the chance to make it 2-0 shortly after the half-hour mark, but her effort was aimed straight at goalkeeper Kerly Theus.

Spirited Haiti were not content with sitting back, but while they looked threatening moving down the flanks, they were unable to convert their chances.

They went close shortly before the break, though, with Melchie Dumonay’s free-kick being tipped wide by goalkeeper Janina Leitzig.

After a strong end to the first-half, Haiti found themselves two goals down shortly after the break.

That was when Buhl found Kogel inside the area, the midfielder getting the better of Theus to find the bottom corner.

Germany then made it three on the hour-mark when substitute Giulia Gwinn played in a delightful low ball to Buhl, who found the net with a strong left-footed strike.

Three goals down, Haiti looked to battle back.

They grabbed their first on 63 minutes when skipper and star performer Mondesir pounced on a loose ball after a corner to tap in from close range.

Mondesir then netted her second of the game 10 minutes later, rifling the ball into the net from the centre of the box, to put pressure on the Germans.

The Europeans, however, held on to preserve their lead against the spirited Haitians, finishing the group stage with a 100 per cent record.

In the group’s other match on Monday, Nigeria and China PR drew 1-1 for the African side to advance as Group D runners-up, behind group winners Germany.

In the quarter-finals Germany will go on to meet Japan, 6-0 victors over Paraguay on Monday and Group C runners-up, on Aug. 17.

Also, Nigeria will on Aug. 16 in the quarter-finals face Spain who won Group C after drawing 2-2 with the U.S.