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Having already booked their place in the Round of 16, Germany were out to clinch top spot in Group B. They did so in formidable fashion against a South Africa side that struggled to keep up.
"You saw that we can play football today," captain Alexandra Popp told broadcaster ARD afterwards. "It didn't need to be the way it was in the first two games." First it was Melanie Leupolz who took advantage of slack defending to head home from a corner. Sara Däbritz swept home a second after Andile Dlamini spilled a shot into her path before Popp added a strong header of her own before the break as Germany's dominance in the air continued.
Dlamini improved in the second half and made two impressive stops to keep Gemany at bay, but one rebound fell fortunately for Lina Magull to tap home from close range. Germany might have had six were it not for two offside flags, and South Africa might have had one of their own were it not for poor composure in key moments. Ultimately, Germany deserved their win and arrive in the knockout rounds in the best form possible.
Who they face will be made clear on Thursday, once all of the group games are over and it's clear which best third-placed side will be Germany's opposition in France.
Germany get the win they deserved, and might have won by more had their timing in the second half been sharper. The contest had long been ended by that stage though, and South Africa deserve credit for battling back even after conceding three goals
Banyana Banyana ended their debut FIFA Women's World Cup campaign without a victory after losing 4-0 to Germany in their final Group B encounter on Monday evening.
Desiree Ellis' troops had a slim chance of advancing as one of the best third-place sides, although they needed Spain or China to lose in the other group B encounter.
The South Africans did not get off to the best of starts as Germany broke the deadlock after just 14 minutes as an un-marked Melani Leupolz nodded home from close-range.
Here's how they lined up: Banyana: Dlamini, Ramalepe, Van Wyk, Matlou, Vilakazi, Biyana, Makhabane, Jane, Mthandi (Kgatlana 46'), Ndimeni, Fulutudilu (Mulaudzi 46'). Subs: Swart (GK), Mpuru (GK), Holweni, Dhlamini, Seoposenwe, Makhubela, Gamede, Mulaudzi, Smeda, Motlhalo Kgatlana, Mbane. Germany: Schult; Gwinn, Doorsoun, Hegering, Schweers; Huth, Magull, Leupolz, Däbritz; Bühl, Popp.s
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