By CALEB SONNELAND
The German powerhouse continued to roll as the Women's National Team smashed four goals past France in an exciting 4-2 victory to send the team into the knockout round.
Striker Inka Grings registered a brace for the Germans on either side of halftime, the second from the penalty spot. Her first came after some fancy footwork on the left-hand sideline saw Grings meet the cross of Simone Laudehr and head the ball in past French keeper Berangere Sapowicz.
Grings wrapped up her double in the 68th minute from the penalty spot after Sapowicz brought Fatmire Bajramaj to ground and was subsequently straight red carded. Grings smashed the ball into the net, sending back-up keeper Celine Deville the wrong way.
Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi wrapped things up late in the 89th minute for the Germans to stave off a French fightback and lock up the top spot in Group A.
The French were put back in contention when halftime substitute striker Marie-Laure Delie got on the end of a corner kick and got her name on the score sheet to make the score 2-1. After the Grings penalty, France pulled closer once again off the head of Laura Georges in the 72nd to make the score 3-2. But it wasn't to be for the French women and they had to settle for runner-up in the group.
Kerstin Garefrekes got things rolling for Germany when she popped up at the far post to head home a German freekick to make it 1-0 for her second goal of the tournament.
LIONESSES RALLY PAST JAPAN
The English women are into the knockout rounds by snatching top spot in Group B after they recorded a 2-0 victory over Japan.
Forward Ellen White got things rolling in Augsburg with a classy long-range chip from over 20 yards out to leave Japanese keeper Ayumi Kaihori floundering in her own net in the 15th minute.
Rachel Yankey finished things off in the 66th minute when she took control of an early cross in the box to turn and chip over an on-rushing Kaihori to double the advantage and put England in cruise control.
Japan threatened on several occasions but simply couldn't convert to get on the scoreboard. One of which came when Yukari Kinga had the ball fall to her feet inside the area with English keeper Karen Bardsley scrambling to cover her ground, but the defender couldn't keep her shot on frame and a chance went begging.
The Japanese went closest when Yuki Nagasato snuck in behind the Brit's back line on a free kick only to see her one-time effort go just wide of the mark and let England breathe a collective sigh of relief.
MEXICO SURRENDERS TWO-GOAL ADVANTAGE
Taking a two-goal lead into the halftime break, the Mexican women coughed up two very late goals to New Zealand as they finished third in Group B with the Kiwis bringing up the rear.
Despite the match not bearing any significance and being two goals down, the New Zealanders showed great resilience and finally notched a goal late in the 90th minute off a corner. Captain Rebecca Smith met the cross and headed home from six yards out for her first and last of the tournament.
Mexico was caught napping again just three minutes later when substitute Hannah Wilkinson was found with a long pass on the edge of the area. The 19-year-old striker chested the ball down and placed her shot into the corner of the net to equalize at 2-2.
Stephany Mayor had initially got Mexico off to a flying start in the 2nd minute when she was sprang free on the right flank and blasted her shot off New Zealand Jenny Bindon for a 1-0 lead.
Maribel Dominguez made it two in the 29th after she was found with a headed through ball to set her up 1-on-1 with the keeper. Dominguez tucked the ball away cooly and the Mexicans looked to be in control.
But the Kiwis clawed their way back and earned the respect of the crowd with a hard-fought draw.
NIGERIA DOWNS HAPLESS CANADA
The Canadian women left the World Cup with a wimper as the Nigerians pulled off a 1-0 victory and condemned Canada to a winless tournament with only one goal scored.
Following a complete power outage in Dresden, the lone goal was scored by Perpetua Nkwocha as she pounced on a mis-directed shot and slotted the ball home in the 75th minute to give her side the win.
Canada did threaten on a couple of chances, one of which came when Melissa Tancredi was found in the box on a free kick but could only direct her header onto the post in the first half.
Nigeria found the crossbar not long after when Ebere Orji smashed her shot into the bar from 10 yards out having been left unmarked following a spilt save from Canadian keeper Karina LeBlanc and then again when Nkwocha hit the post minutes later.
What do you make of the Germans so far? Does England/France or Germany/Japan excite you more? Who do you see winning the whole thing?
Share your thoughts below.