SHANGHAI (AFP) - A ruthlessly efficient Germany tamed Brazil Sunday to win the World Cup final 2-0 with goals from Birgit Prinz and Simone Laudehr making them the first nation to successfully defend their title.
The Germans also owed a huge debt to unbeatable goalkeeper Nadine Angerer who saved a second-half penalty from World Player of the Year Marta, leaving the Brazilians numb.
The result meant Germany's watertight defence went through the entire tournament without conceding a goal.
Captain Prinz got the breakthough in front of a packed Hongkou Football Stadium after 52 minutes when the veteran Frankfurt forward found herself in acres of space when fed the ball by Sandra Smisek.
She thundered a shot on the turn from inside the box and it slid under the diving Andreia, who should have done better.
Brazil came back with a vengeance but no matter what they threw at impregnable Germany they couldn't find the equaliser, and Laudehr's bullet header four minutes from time put the game beyond their reach.
"I had a lot of confidence in my team and they worked very hard for each other. It was a great team performance," said ecstatic German coach Silvia Neid. "After the penalty save I felt it was meant to be our night."
She heaped praise on her defence, in particular, for keeping the dangerous Marta at bay.
"It was important to close down Marta and we did a very good job there."
Angerer added that "we were nervous but we felt we had the right to be world champions."
The Brazilians were chanting and singing before the start of the match to fire themselves up and Marta had the first chance of the game with her long range drive easily gathered by Angerer in the fourth minute.
Seconds later the action switched to the other end when Kerstin Garefrekes was set free on the right only to slice her shot into the side netting.
Brazil almost penetrated the German defence in the eighth minute when Angerer failed to collect Daniela's free kick. The ball bounced out to Formiga but she was unable to put the ball in the net.
The physically stronger Germans threw their weight around but the nimble Brazilians gave as good as they got, with the powerful Prinz unceremoniously barged off the ball at one point.
Both sides were creating chances and Daniela was desperately unlucky not to score when she clattered a left foot volley onto the post with Angerer beaten on 23 minutes.
Brazil had most of the possession and could sense they were getting the upper hand with Marta skipping through two defenders and into the box soon after only to lose control of the ball before she could unleash a shot.
The dynamic Germans came out for the second period with renewed drive and went close twice soon after the start before Prinz got the vital opening goal.
But it was Angerer who was the hero, saving Marta's spot kick with her knees in the 62nd minute after Cristiane was hacked down.
She kept them in the game again minutes later when she spectacularly saved a flying strike from substitute Rosana.
Brazil stepped it up in search of the equaliser but the Germans used their experience to stand firm and keep another clean sheet.
"This was a very tough match, we missed a lot of chances especially when we were 1-0 down and Marta missed a critical penalty," said Brazil coach Jorge Barcellos.
"But Germany took their chances and scored. I'm very sad about this result but my players tried their best."
In the third-place play-off, two-time champions the United States beat Norway 4-1.
Abby Wambach struck either side of the break with Lori Chalupny and Heather O'Reilly also weighing in before Ragnhild Gulbrandsen pulled one back for Norway.
|Coach: S. Neid|
for M. Behringer 74'
for S. Smisek 80'
|Guinea-Bissau 0 Burkina Faso 2: Traore on target as Stallions advance|
|Busquets injury at Eibar compounds Barcelona midfield woes|
|Deulofeu lands in Italy ahead of AC Milan move|
|´I made the best decision´ - Conte basks in Costa recall|
|Wenger urges Xhaka not to ´punish´ Arsenal|
|Ex-Bastia man Palmieri questions Balotelli racial abuse claims|
|Costa reaction hailed by Cahill|
|Manchester City must be mentally strong, says embattled Bravo|
|Chelsea 2 Hull City 0: Costa back with a bang for Blues|
|Koke lauds Griezmann ´stroke of genius´ as Atletico snatch draw|
|Pioli questions Ansaldi dismissal|
|´I should have shut up and I apologise´ - Wenger sorry for ref rant|
|Arsenal can be proud of this red-card record|
|Mustafi: Arsenal never give up|
|Higuain: Lazio posed no threat to Juventus|
|Athletic Bilbao 2 Atletico Madrid 2: Griezmann magic rescues point|
|Puel unsure Van Dijk will be fit for Liverpool clash|
|Free-scoring Monaco return to Ligue 1 summit|
|Arsenal 2 Burnley 1: Sanchez snatches thrilling win for 10-man Gunners|
|Palermo 0 Inter 1: Joao Mario strike extends Inter streak|
|Arsenal fans give Alexis Sanchez paws for thought|
|Costa returns to Chelsea XI to face Hull City|
|Inter cannot delude fans about Messi - Ausilio|
|Allegri admits new Juventus formation was a ´mad idea´|
|Leicester boss Ranieri admits to tactical mistakes|
|Zimbabwe v Tunisia: Kasperczek demands ruthlessness with quarter-final spot on the line|
|Southampton 3 Leicester City 0: Saints end losing streak but suffer potential Van Dijk blow|
|Juventus 2 Lazio 0: Dybala and Higuain strikes see leaders return to form|
|Iborra makes a mark at both ends as Sevilla scrape past Osasuna|
|Pogba hails ´brother´ Griezmann as Manchester United speculation continues|
|Costa fight rumour ´not nice´, says Courtois|
|Henry makes emotional Ozil plea: Stay and become an Arsenal legend|
|Welbeck still has huge promise, says Wenger|
|A-League Review: Wanderers finally end home hoodoo|
|Tevez denies he´s highest-paid player after CSL move|
|Napoli capable of greatness - Sarri|
|Montella proud of Milan display against Napoli|
|Ramos tells Madrid fans: We need support|
|Conte: Costa committed to Chelsea|
|Callejon credits ´Maradona effect´ as Napoli down AC Milan|
|Uganda didn´t deserve to lose - Sredojevic|
|Lloris kept us in the game - Pochettino backs captain despite errors|
|Guardiola ´never going to give up´ on Premier League title|
|Chapecoense make emotional return to football|
|Allardyce: Players don´t want to join Palace relegation fight|
|Pulis backs Berahino to get back on track at Stoke|
|AC Milan 1 Napoli 2: Callejon settles San Siro thriller|
|Guinea-Bissau v Burkina Faso: Cande not thinking about going home|
|Egypt 1 Uganda 0: El Said to the rescue for Pharaohs|
|Gabriel Jesus delighted to make Premier League bow|
|England boss Southgate lauds record-breaker Rooney|
|Leipzig beat Frankfurt to cut Bayern´s lead|
|Guardiola blasts missed chances, not referee, after Spurs draw|
|Candid Pochettino says City were unlucky not to beat Spurs|
|AC Milan ´still negotiating´ over Deulofeu|
|Ben Arfa content with striker role at PSG|
|Walker admits to Sterling push in contentious City-Spurs draw|
|Emery hails PSG personality after tricky Nantes test|
|Manchester City 2 Tottenham 2: Controversial Son strike bails out Lloris|
|Record-breaking Rooney: Lineker, Shearer and wife Coleen lead Twitter tributes|
|Knee surgery to end Ogbonna season - Bilic|
|Karanka hits out at ´awful´ Riverside atmosphere|
|Zidane urges Madrid fans to stick with Ronaldo and Benzema|
|Palace players not to blame for last-gasp defeat, claims Allardyce|
|Zidane frustrated as Marcelo and Modric add to Madrid´s injury worries|
|Howe praises Bournemouth ´fighters´ after Watford draw|
|Poor goals a disease for Sunderland - Moyes|
|Charlton, Ferguson hail ´true great´ Rooney|
|Tuchel annoyed by ´sluggish´ Dortmund|
|Mourinho: Rooney now a Manchester United legend|
|Ghana 1 Mali 0: Gyan heads Black Stars into quarter-finals|
|Nantes 0 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Cavani at the double as champions close on Nice|
|Better at Old Trafford, prolific against Arsenal - Rooney´s record in Opta numbers|
|Rooney: Record means a hell of a lot but I´m still disappointed|
|Fener free-kick to derby delight - Rooney´s top 10 Manchester United goals|
|Rooney merits place in history, forget the present and future struggles|
|Crystal Palace 0 Everton 1: Coleman late-show extends Allardyce´s losing run|
|Real Madrid 2 Malaga 1: Ramos double gets leaders back on track|
|Stoke City 1 Manchester United 1: Record-breaking Rooney snatches draw|
|West Brom 2 Sunderland 0: Baggies inflict more misery on Moyes´ men|
|Bournemouth 2 Watford 2: Hosts come from behind twice|
|Middlesbrough 1 West Ham 3: Rejuvenated Carroll makes the difference|
|Rooney becomes Manchester United´s all-time top goalscorer|
|Werder Bremen 1 Borussia Dortmund 2: Piszczek winner denies fightback|
|Cameroon v Gabon: Hosts look to avoid early exit|
|Swansea worthy winners at Anfield - Clement|
|Rummenigge defends Guardiola: Manchester City simply not as good as Bayern|
|Swansea had perfect gameplan, says match-winner Sigurdsson|
|Klopp baffled by sloppy Liverpool|
|Henry: Arsenal don´t need Payet – they have Iwobi|
|Allegri: Juventus have not lost their quality all of a sudden|
|Liverpool 2 Swansea City 3: Llorente and Sigurdsson stun Anfield|
|Nainggolan as valuable as Pogba - Spalletti|
|Atletico criticism excites Simeone|
|Luis Enrique worried about Eibar´s pitch|
|Januzaj: Pogba wants me back at Manchester United|
|There is nobody like him – Luis Enrique rues Iniesta absence|
|Mourinho: United need De Gea and Romero to stay|
|Chiellini: Sixth successive title would make Juventus players legends|
|A-League Review: Taggart fires Perth to glory|
|Balotelli furious after alleged racial abuse at Bastia|
|Tottenham stronger than previous seasons - Eriksen|
|Wenger prepared for 17 cup finals to overhaul Chelsea|
|Maldini: Donnarumma can emulate my Milan success|
|Klopp urges Liverpool to enjoy title race|
|Shaw going through ´difficult period´ - Mourinho|
|Klopp not worried by Sturridge, Origi form|
|De Gea backs ´amazing´ Pogba|
|Pochettino: Tottenham bigger than City|
|Conte: I trust Diego Costa 100 per cent|
|Lewandowski admits he was lucky for Bayern winner|
|City as sharp as Barca and Bayern but lacking consistency, says Guardiola|
|Nice go top but struggles continue in draw with 10-man Bastia|
|AC Milan pull Deulofeu Tweet amid reports deal not yet complete|
|New Manchester City deal for Aguero but little fanfare|
|Matip gets all clear from FIFA to play for Liverpool after Cameroon row|
|Freiburg 1 Bayern Munich 2: Lewandowski to the rescue with late winner|
|Fonte completes £8million West Ham switch|
|Morocco 3 Togo 1: Renard´s men back on track with comeback victory|
|Stoke complete £12million Berahino signing|
|Egypt v Uganda: Pressure on Pharaohs to kickstart campaign|
|Aspas responds to alleged Ramos spit|
|Stoke agree Berahino deal with West Brom|
|AC Milan complete Deulofeu loan signing|
|Gerrard returns to Liverpool as academy coach|
|Ivory Coast 2 DR Congo 2: Serey Die rescues point but holders still in trouble|
|Di Maria committed to PSG amid reported CSL interest|
|Sanchez a role model - Xhaka|
|Tuchel trusts Schurrle to fill Aubameyang void|
|Ghana v Mali: Rahman injury poses a problem for Grant|
|Depay not holding Manchester United grudge|
|I love watching them - Guardiola a huge fan of Pochettino and Tottenham|
|Klopp: I could kick Mane in the... lower back|
|Conte: Ake is ready to help Chelsea´s title bid|
|Allardyce provides Evra, Van Aanholt and Jenknson updates|
|Guardiola looks beyond beleaguered Bravo for City woes|
|Begovic could leave Chelsea - Conte|
|PSG still on the hunt for striker, says Emery|
|Mourinho: Valencia the best right-back in football|
|Mourinho on Young to China talk: He hasn´t told me anything!|
|Costa wants to stay at Chelsea, reveals Conte|
|´I played worse sometimes´ - Zidane defends Ronaldo from critics|
|Injured Iniesta to miss Eibar clash|
|Mourinho open to Depay return|
|Lyon confirm Depay arrival|
|Germany to bid for Euro 2024|
|Sydney FC 2 Adelaide United 0: Two goals in three minutes extend lead|
|Depay could face Marseille as Lyon boss Genesio hails winger´s ´big motivation´|
|Hull loan Elabdellaoui from Olympiacos|
|AC Milan make final offer for Deulofeu|
|Hughes ´wouldn´t encourage´ Bojan bids|
|Worker dies at World Cup stadium in Qatar|
|West Brom sign Livermore|
|Lyon president Aulas: Depay deal imminent|
|Aubameyang: I could leave Dortmund, but I´d never join Bayern|
|´Equating Messi with anyone else is like comparing a policeman with Batman´ - Sampaoli|
|It will take years to build football culture, Wenger warns CSL|
|´Worried´ Rakitic wants Barca renewal|
|Inter not signing Messi - Moratti|
|Luis Enrique hails Barca defence after ending Anoeta curse|
|´He is made of different stuff´ - Spalletti hails Nainggolan after wondergoal|
|Tottenham´s Janssen turned down Galatasaray move, agent claims|