Friday, June 17, 2005

Germany 4:3 Australia

Waldstadion, Frankfurt Tue 15th June 2005 20:45
Goalscorers: Germany: Kuranyi 17, Mertesacker 23, Ballack (pen) 60, Podolski 88
Australia: Skoku 21, Aloisi 31, 92

The host nation announced their arrival with a fireworks display of a match at Frankfurt's Waldstadion.
Jurgen Klinsmann's first competitive game in charge of Germany was an uncomfortable one with the unfancied Australians holding the hosts at 2:2 after half an hour's play before Michael Ballack gave a captain's performance, scoring a penalty on the hour mark and setting up Cologne striker Lukas Podolski for the winner two minutes from the 90.

The former Stuttgart, Bayern, Inter, Sampdoria, Tottenham and Monaco man looked concerned and anxious on the bench, or in fact on his feet as he preferred to be all evening and when Kevin Kuranyi tapped in Arne Friedrich's driven cross in the seventeenth minute Klinsi exploded with a relief of tension, jumping and punching the air.

The crowd too on this warm evening were clearly feeling the same and had their appetites whetted by a chance for Podolski in the first minute and aThomas Hitzlsperger long-range effort shortly afterwards. But the Germans had underestimated the Australians and all the kangaroos printed in the day's papers began to look a bit silly when Josip Skoku drew his team level with a grasscutter free kick after twenty one minutes that zipped through the wall and into the centre of Kahn's net.

Two minutes later the Germans were back in front as a Bastian Schweinsteiger corner was crossed back by Bernt Schneider for Per Mertesacker to volley home from inside the six-yard box, the cue for another Klinsmann victory dance on the touchine.

But heads were in hands on thirty-one minutes as the Socceroos nipped their hosts a second time. The goalscorer Skoku picked out John Aloisi streaking forward on the left and he shot from an acute angle to the far post beat Kahn to make it 2:2 on the night. Australia were matching the hosts off the field too as coach Frank Farina danced a jog worthy of his opposite number.

Germany came out fighting after the break and in the first eight minutes drew three goal-stopping saves from the German-speaking Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer.

The will to win was perhaps a bit too much in evidence from Schweinsteiger who left his studs in Tony Popovic in the fifty-first minute, forcing the Crystal Palace man to be stretchered off.

A minute before the hour mark Germany took the lead again after Friedrich nutmegged Scott Chipperfield on the right and won a race to the loose ball with Ljubo Milicevic, who clipped his heels to earn Germany a penalty kick.

Captain Michael Ballack stepped up and sent Schwarzer the wrong way to alight the stadium for a third time.

The game cooled in intensity and incident with a string of substitutions but the home crowd were on their feet once more with two minutes left of the ninety as a sweet backheel from Gerald Asamoah released Ballack, whose cross found Podolski in the middle of the box and he whipped the ball into the top left-hand corner.

Two minutes into injury time however and the Frankfurt net rippled a seventh time on the night when Aloisi beat Kahn at the second attempt to make the final score 4:3.

No comments: