| Germany’s Birgit Prinz (right) celebrates with ’keeper Silke Rottenberg after beating the US in Portland on Sunday. (AP)
New York: Germany reached the women’s World Cup final by shocking hosts and defending champions the US 3-0 on Sunday.
They will meet Sweden in Sunday’s final, after the Scandinavians scored twice in seven minutes late on to beat Canada 2-1 in the day’s other semi-final.
The US, favourites to retain their title, fell behind to an early Kerstin Garefrekes header and despite dominating much of the tense encounter in Portland, Oregon, could not break down a diligent German rearguard.
Maren Meinert and Birgit Prinz both claimed injury-time goals on the counter-attack to increase American woe, and leave players such as Mia Hamm — likely to be bowing out of World Cup soccer after a glittering career — in tears.
It took 15 minutes for Garefrekes to break the deadlock, directing a header in off the underside of the crossbar from Renate Lingor’s inswinging corner.
Thereafter, Germany were overworked in repelling wave after wave of US attacks, and were indebted to goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg for preserving their lead.
Canada looked as though they could extend their run when Kara Lang’s swerving free-kick from 30 metres was parried into the top corner by culpable Sweden ’keeper Caroline Joensson after 64 minutes.
Their quickly-taken free-kick enabled Malin Mostroem to level in the 79th minute and, from a low Svensson cross four minutes from time, substitute Josefine Oeqvist steered home the winner off the upright.