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Germany, Canada in semis

New York: Germany set up a semi-final clash with the United States and highly-fancied China were shocked by Canada 0-1 in the quarter finals of the women’s World Cup on Thursday.

Germany humbled Russia 7-1 in their quarter final in Portland, Oregon, with striker Birgit Prinz netting twice to become the tournament’s outright leading scorer with six goals.

They will face defending champions the US in the last four in Portland on Sunday, for a place in the final on October 12.

“The Americans are performing as well as in 1999 and they are the top favourite to win the tournament,” Germany coach Tina Theune-Meyer said.

China, one of the favourites and runners-up in 1999, lost 0-1 to emerging Canada after conceding an early goal.

Canada, enjoying their best World Cup run, meet Sweden in the other semi-final, also scheduled for Portland on Sunday.

The Chinese had flattered to deceive during the fourth women’s World Cup and, once Canada’s Charmaine Hooper stole in behind their defence to head home after seven minutes, they lacked the conviction to recover.

Captain Sun Wen came closest to scoring an equaliser, curling a free-kick on to Canada’s crossbar just 90 seconds after Hooper had struck.

They piled on the pressure in the second half, but with Hooper and goalkeeper Taryn Swiatek majestic, Canada held on.

Russia kept Germany to just one goal in the first half, as Martina Mueller broke the deadlock after 25 minutes. But their resistance gave way in spectacular fashion after the break.

Sandra Minnert, Pia Wunderlich and Kerstin Garefrekes claimed three goals in five minutes around the hour mark, before Prinz (80 and 89 minutes) and Garefrekes (85 minutes) completed their doubles. Elena Danilova scored for Russia in the 70th minute. (Reuters)

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