The tale of the tape: Brazil vs. Germany
After three weeks of pure magic involving 16 teams from every corner of the globe, the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup comes down to a battle of Europe vs. South America.
Sunday's final from Shanghai (CBC, 7:45 a.m. ET) pits defending champion Germany against Brazil, who is attempting to winits first World Cup title.
Here's how these two nations match up:
Nadine Angerer hasn't been beaten once in this tournament, posting five consecutive shutouts (four wins and a draw) in Germany's run to the final. In doing so, the German goalkeeper set a new record for most consecutive minutes (529) without conceding a goal in World Cup play, dating back to the 2003 tournament in the United States.
Brazilian shot stopper Andreia has been almost as good, giving up just two goals (in a 3-2 win over Australia in the quarter-finals) and recording four shutouts in five games.
Germany has now gone 529 minutes without giving up a World Cup goal, dating back to the 2003 tournament. The current streak broke China's record of 442 minutes, which spanned between the 1999 and 2003 events. The Germans have plenty of experienced defenders, including Kerstin Stegemann, who has played 161 games for her country.
Brazil shut out the powerful Americans in the semifinals and has looked solid at the back, with the exception of squandering a 2-0 lead against Australia before battling back to win 3-2.
The German defence will face its sternest test of the competition against Brazil, which boasts the top two scorers in the tournament: reigning FIFA world player of the year Marta (seven goals) and Cristiane (five goals).
Maycon and Formiga offer Brazil speed and a unique playmaking touch in the centre of the park, while midfielders Renata Costa, Daniela and Pretinha have chipped in with goals.
Germany also has plenty of attacking depth. Forwards Birgit Prinz — who is set to become the first player to appear in three Women's World Cup finals — Sandra Smisek, and midfielders Renate Lingor, Kerstin Garefrekes, Melanie Behringer have combined for 15 goals in China.
Both teams are capable of scoring goals, but Germany posted an amazing 11-0 victory over Argentina in its first game of the tournament, giving teams just a small taste of what it's capable of doing.
While Brazil has greater overall speed, Germany's possession and passing game has been flawless.
Germany has never lost to Brazil at senior level, boasting a record of three wins and two draws, including a victory in the bronze medal game at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The Germans also have a decided edge in experience.
Germany will be appearing inits third World Cup final in five tries, andis attempting to be the first women's team to repeat as World Cup champions.
Brazil is riding a tidal wave of momentum going into the final after defeating the top-ranked U.S. 4-0 in the semifinals, a result that ended the Americans' amazing 51-game undefeated streak.
Playing with a great deal of confidence, the Brazilian women are eager to win their first World Cup title and knock the Germans off their perch.