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Sweden 0 Germany 1 (Marozsan 33)
Germany are just one match away from a sixth successive European title after ending hosts Sweden's bid with a hard earned victory in front of a noisy crowd at Gothenburg.
A first half goal from Dzsenifer Marozsan turned out to be the difference in a superb match but Silvia Neid's young side needed to withstand Swedish pressure during the second half and it took a fine display from the German defence to see them through to Sunday's Final.
Roared on by a capacity 16,608 crowd, Sweden tried to inflict early pressure but it was Germany who carved out the first chance and should have gone ahead. Anja Mittag's pass released Simone Laudehr on the left and her cross picked out Marozsan who headed wide from six yards.
Germany were clearly relishing the occasion and went close again from a corner, Annike Krahn's shot being hacked off the line by Sara Thunebro. Sweden immediately went on the counter attack with Lotta Schelin getting away from Saskia Bartusiak before her angled effort was inches off target.
The game continued at breakneck speed and Germany continued to have the better of things. Mittag was having a blistering game up front and was a constant threat to the Swedish defence all match. She was next to go close, seizing on a loose Schelin pass before forcing a near post save from Kristin Hammarstrom.
Sweden had a great chance when Josefine Oqvist took the ball off Laudehr and raced towards goal on the right. No German defender went across to challenge her and she was able to cut in unchecked but wastefully shot into the side netting.
Despite that let off, Germany continued to dictate matters and were rewarded just after the half hour by taking the lead. Mittag was again involved, receiving the ball from Nadine Kessler before sliding a pass into the path of Marozsan who, under pressure from Charlotte Rohlin, poked her shot past Hammarstrom and just inside the far post.
Sweden tried to respond and found some joy down the flanks but first Leonie Maier - who once again had a fine match - and then Jennifer Cramer made excellent clearances under pressure to keep their side in front.
It could have been two for Germany a minute before half time when a Marozsan corner was met by Laudehr whose downward header was kept out by a superb diving save from Hammarstrom and Lena Lotzen could not force home the rebound.
Sweden stepped up the pace after the break but Germany stood firm with Krahn and Saskia Bartusiak marshalling the defence. Indeed Bartusiak made a great block to deny Schelin and when Kosovare Asllani did find space in the area, she was unable to keep her header down.
Mittag and Lotzen both had shots saved by Hammarstrom as Germany threatened on the counter attack but Sweden were doing most of the pressing now.
They thought the equaliser had come when Schelin raced onto Asllani's pass and finished brilliantly from the edge of the area but celebrations were cut short as the goal was ruled out; Schelin had looked offside from the through ball and also appeared to have shoved Krahn in the back.
Oqvist was to go even closer when she broke into the area and slipped the ball across, where it beat Nadine Angerer but struck the post, before the German defence eventually scrambled the ball away.
Germany fought hard to hold on to their lead and this was typified by Lena Goessling who won tackle after tackle in the midfield area. The predatory Schelin was finding it hard to get past Krahn and Bartusiak and once Sweden got near goal, Angerer's handling and positioning was faultless.
The chance looked to have come with five minutes left when Therese Sjogran set up Caroline Seger in space in the area but she sliced her shot wide. Germany needed to survive more anxious moments as the game went into injury time with Angerer needing to claw away from Lisa Dahlkvist as she threatened to score but they held out for a famous victory.
The despair showed on the Swedish players' faces as the dejection of defeat hit them after the final whistle but they, and coach Pia Sundhage, were given a rousing reception by the home supporters. The Germans meanwhile celebrated wildly and they can now focus their attentions on another Final.
Sweden: Kristin Hammarstrom, Jessica Samuelsson (sub Lisa Dahlkvist 82mins), Charlotte Rohlin, Caroline Seger, Nilla Fischer, Sara Thunebro, Josefine Oqvist (sub Sofia Jakobsson 74mins), Lotta Schelin, Kosovare Asllani, Marie Hammarstrom, Antonia Goransson (sub Therese Sjogran 65mins).
Germany: Nadine Angerer, Leonie Maier, Jennifer Cramer, Saskia Bartusiak, Annike Krahn, Simone Laudehr, Lena Goessling, Nadine Kessler, Lena Lotzen (sub Melanie Leupolz 78mins), Dzsenifer Marozsan (sub Bianca Schmidt 89mins), Anja Mittag.
(top) Lena Lotzen pounces on the rebound following a Kristin Hammarstrom save
(middle) Nadine Angerer looks on as Josefine Oqvist (14) hits the post
(bottom) Sweden coach Pia Sundhage can't hide her emotions after the game
(Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk)
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