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Germany wins; U.S. has security

September 11, 2007|From the Associated Press

SHANGHAI -- Germany sent an emphatic message of its readiness with its 11-0 romp over Argentina in the Women's World Cup opener.

Contenders such as the No. 1-ranked Americans, who play North Korea in Group B in Chengdu, China, today at 1:45 a.m. PDT, are expected to take notice.

Germany set a Women's World Cup for goals by one team and the largest margin of victory. The record for the most lopsided result was 8-0 twice: Sweden over Japan in 1991, and Norway over Nigeria in 1995.

Birgit Prinz and Sandra Smisek each scored three goals. The last by Prinz was her 12th in the World Cup finals, equaling American Michelle Akers' record for World Cup goals.

For the Americans, in particular, security is evident at the World Cup, which will stage its title match Sept. 30. The U.S. team is followed by a Chinese security force dressed all in black, sporting bulletproof vests and carrying sidearms and large automatic weapons.

The heavy security could be a test for next year's Beijing Olympics or in anticipation of the team's opening against North Korea.

"It's like we have a SWAT team behind us when we go to practice," U.S. player Christie Rampone said, noting the extra attention to Kristine Lilly.

"They treated her like David Beckham," Rampone said. "Everywhere you go, even the stairs, there's a security guard there."

Added player Kate Markgraf: "We're all pretty used to it. It doesn't faze us, but we are grateful it's there."

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