Germany down women's World Cup hosts France in friendly

Germany laid down a marker 100 days ahead of this year's women's World Cup with a 1-0 friendly victory over tournament hosts France in Laval on Thursday.

Corinne Diacre's France will be hoping to make it a men's and women's double by lifting the World Cup for the first time in Lyon on July 7, but put in a flat performance in front of a large home crowd.

Lea Schueller scored the only goal just after the half-hour mark as two-time World Cup winners Germany, who hired legendary former striker Birgit Prinz as a psychologist earlier this week, dug deep to close out victory.

The Germans took the lead in the 31st minute as Schueller collected Svenja Huth's pass and clipped a left-footed effort from just inside the area that beat France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi's dive to bounce in off the post.

The home side wasted an excellent chance to draw level on the stroke of half-time as Marie-Antoinette Katoto's backheel opened up the visiting defence, but Paris FC forward Gaetane Thiney dragged her shot woefully wide when totally unmarked.

France continued to press early in the second period, threatening from set-pieces, but the best they could muster was a tame header wide from centre-back Wendie Renard.

Thiney ballooned a late free-kick over the crossbar, Katoto sliced wide and France failed to make the most of a couple of goalmouth scrambles, as the Germans held on.

France will open the World Cup against South Korea at the Parc des Princes in Paris on June 7 before further Group A games against Norway and Nigeria, while Germany will play China, Spain and South Africa in Group B.

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