Women's Euro - Laudehr goal guides Germany past Italy and into semis

Women's European Championship quarter-final, Vaxjo - Germany 1 (Laudehr 26) Italy 0.

Women's Euro - Laudehr goal guides Germany past Italy and into semis

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Lena Goeßling vor Rückkehr ins Team

Germany are through to the semi-finals of the Women’s European Championships with a 1-0 victory over Italy in Vaxjo.

Silvia Neid’s side made hard-work of the Azzurri, controlling large spells of the game but lacking clinical finishing in front of goal.

However, midfielder Simone Laudehr bucked the trend and she converted from close range midway through the opening 45 minutes.

Although the Italians started reasonably well, it was Germany who fashioned up two excellent heading opportunities inside the first 10 minutes.

Lena Goessling’s perfectly-weighted free-kick found Anja Mittag in acres of space, but the Malmo forward headed wide on five minutes.

Just two minutes later, Mittag’s strike partner Celia Okoyino da Mbabi found space on the right-flack, delivering for on-rushing midfielder Laudehr who couldn’t direct her header downwards.

Given the cagey nature of this second quarter-final it was no surprised that the only goal came from a set-piece.

It arrived on 26 minutes from Goessling’s corner-kick, which bobbled into the path of Laudehr and she finished well, with the aid of a deflection from Simone Bartoli.

Without forcing Frankfurt’s Nadine Angerer into a notable save, the Italians seemed to look most dangerous when playing through Melania Gabbiadini.

Just before half-time Italy’s Daniela Stracchi finally forced Angerer into a decent save, in what was the Azzurri's only real sight at goal.

Alice Parisi’s volley at the start of the second period kept Germany on their toes, but it was still off target in the end.

Dzenifer Marozsan was brought into the action on 51 minutes and was instrumental in Germany’s transition in style.

The 21-year-old, who was the youngest player in the Bundesliga at the age of 14, linked with da Mbabi who found Laudehr but the move was smothered by Marchitelli.

Lena Lotzen should have added a second after 62 minutes, misjudging her left-footed volley from inside the six-yard-box.

The Italian goalkeeper was troubled two minutes later, producing a terrific save from Marozsan who was beginning to take a grip of the game in the Germany No.10 role.

With 18 minutes to play, Laudehr came close for the Germans, failing to turn in a goalmouth scramble which would have secured their passage to the next round.

Still, they were on track throughout the second half with Lotzen coming close and Nadine Kessler hitting the post inside the last 15 minutes.

 The Germans persevered – and their best last effort came from Marozsan’s delightful free-kick that smacked the crossbar with three minutes to play.

There was no clinching second for the Germans, yet they are still well on track for more European dominance in the competition.

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