Germany won its second straight Women's World Cup on Sunday, defeating Brazil 2-0 behind second-half goals by Birgit Prinz and Simone Laudehr.
Prinz scored in the 52nd minute and Laudehr added a cushion in the 86th, helping Germany become the first women's soccer team to successfully defend its title in the World Cup or Olympics.
Marta, the Brazilian star with seven goals in the tournament, had a chance to tie the score in the second half, but her penalty kick was stopped by diving German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer.
"After the penalty save, I felt it was meant to be," Germany coach Silvia Neid said. "We worked hard for each other. It was a great team performance. It was important to work against Marta, and we did a good job in pushing her to the sidelines."
Germany went through six games in the tournament without yielding a goal and outscored the opposition 21-0, setting other records in the process.
The Germans thwarted the flowing attacks of Brazil, which routed the United States 4-0 in the semifinal. In the third-place game Sunday, the U.S. defeated Norway 4-1 behind two goals by Abby Wambach.
Germany, bidding to host the 2011 Women's World Cup, was the first team to go through a major senior competition without yielding a goal. It has not given up a goal in 619 minutes in World Cup play. The last goal came four years ago in the finals against Sweden. China held the previous record of 442 minutes.
Germany's defense had to be good. Brazil dominated possession without getting past Angerer and central defenders Ariane Hingst and Annike Krahn.
Germany's best chance of the first half came in the fifth minute when Kerstin Garefrekes found space on the right, but her sharply angled shot hit the side of the net. Brazil came close soon after when Formiga shot wide of the right post after a goalmouth scramble, the AP reports.
The Brazilians, playing in their first final, were left to regret a number of missed chances, chief amongst them a penalty brilliantly parried by Angerer.
Trailing 1-0 in the second half, Cristiane was brought down in the penalty area, leaving Marta to take the spot kick. The 21-year-old FIFA 2006 player of the year aimed left and low but Angerer lunged to save.
Brazilian coach Jorge Barcellos said he was "very sad," at the result, but happy the team had played its best.
"We created a lot of chances today, but we just missed them. The Germans scored after their first real chance. (They) were better at finishing."
Germany's win follows their 2003 triumph over Sweden in Los Angeles.
Earlier, two-time World Cup winner United States trounced Norway 4-1 in the third-place playoff, scoring two second-half goals in two minutes to bury the 1995 champions.
Abby Wambach scored two in the first half, showing great finesse with a deft flick that beat wrong-footed keeper Bente Nordby and opened the American scoring after 30 minutes.
Lori Chalupny and Heather O'Reilly scored second half goals to put the result beyond doubt, before forward Ragnhild Gulbrandsen got a consolation goal for Norway with a fine arching header at 63 minutes, Reuters reports.
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