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Germany, France win at women's Euro 2005
Updated: 2005-06-07 09:34

Three-time defending champion Germany survived a tough match at the European Women's Championship on Monday, getting a second-half goal from Conny Pohlers to beat Denmark 1-0.

In the day's other Group B match, Marinette Pinchon scored two goals to lead France over Italy 3-1.

Germany's Sandra Smisek, left, prepares to shoot as Norway's Marianne Paulsen looks on during their Group B match in the UEFA Women's Championship, Blackpool, England, Monday June 6, 2005. [AP]

The top two teams in each group advance to the semifinals. The final is scheduled for June 19 in Blackburn.

Germany, the Women's World Cup champion, twice kept Stine Frantzen from giving Denmark the lead minutes before the deciding goal at Warrington.

In the first half, Germany goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg saved a Unni Lehn attempt, and then was fortunate to see Ingrid Stensland's lob fall just wide.

The Germans played without Birgit Prinz, who has scored 83 international goals and needs only one more to become the country's highest-scoring player. The world player of the year injured her thigh recently while playing in the German Cup final.

In Preston, Pinchon scored both goals from rebounds off the crossbar.

The first came in the 20th minute after Hoda Lattaf sent a shot off the woodwork, and the second arrived 10 minutes later when Sandrine Soubeyrand's lob from well outside the area also hit the horizontal post.

Lattaf gave France the lead in the 16th with a volley that went over charging Italy goalkeeper Carla Brunozzi. Sara Di Filippo got one back for Italy in the 83rd.

Germany next faces Italy on Thursday, while France takes on Norway.

On Sunday, England held on to beat Finland 3-2 in Group A, and Women's World Cup runner-up Sweden drew Denmark 1-1.

The hosts can guarantee themselves a spot in the semifinals with a win against Denmark on Wednesday. Sweden and Finland play in the other group match.

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