Germany open women’s World Cup campaign beating Canada: Hosts and defending champions Germany got their women’s World Cup campaign off to a flying start on Sunday as they beat Group A rivals Canada 2-1 at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
Having won both the 2003 and 2007 editions, Germany are bidding to complete a hat-trick of titles on home soil and had few problems against the Canadians, who threatened the German goal on only rare occasions.
First-half goals by midfielders Kerstin Garefrekes and Celia Okoyino da Mbabi put the hosts in control before Canada captain Christine Sinclair, who broke her nose in the first half, slotted home a late free-kick for the guests.
The win puts the Germans top of Group A after France’s earlier 1-0 win over Nigeria.
The hosts squandered a string of second-half chances, while Canada grew in confidence as the game wore on.
With Germany having gone through the entire 2007 campaign without conceding a goal, Sinclair became the first player to score against them at a World Cup since Sweden’s Hanna Ljungberg in the Germans’ 2-1 win in the 2003 final.
After a glitzy opening ceremony when a giant mirror ball released hundreds of football-shaped balloons into the Berlin sky, Germany got their campaign off to a good start with the first goal coming after just 10 minutes.
Having been denied from a crisp shot just moments before, right winger Garefrekes headed home a cross from left-back Babett Peter to put the hosts ahead in front of a sell-out crowd of 73,680.
Germany then punished some sloppy defending as centre forward Okoyino da Mbabi made it 2-0 just before the break.
A towering long-ball from Garefrekes put Okoyino da Mbabi — who turns 23 on Monday — away and with the Canadian defence nowhere near her, she slotted her shot past goalkeeper Erin McLeod on 42 minutes.
It was the German midfielder’s fourth goal in her last five games.
Two-time women’s World Cup winners USA open their Group C campaign against North Korea in Dresden on Tuesday.