Belarus double strike leaves Germany red-faced

Second-half goals from striker Vitali Bulyga gave minnows Belarus a shock 2-2 draw on Tuesday against Germany - one of the favourites for next month's Euro 2008.

Belarus double strike leaves Germany red-faced
Is Lehmann ready? Photo: DPA

A strike after just ten minutes from Germany forward Miroslav Klose – his 39th goal in 75 internationals – and a first-half own-goal gave the home side a commanding 2-0 lead at the break before Bulyga’s double.

Having out-foxed the home defence to beat Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann on 61 minutes, Bulyga struck again to leave the Arsenal man and his defenders red-faced.

“It is disappointing that we allowed the lead to slip from our hands, you could clearly see the hard work from the training camp was missing,” said Germany coach Joachim Löw whose squad spent last week training in the Spanish island of Majorca. “In twelve days, all the players will be in much better form, I can promise you that.”

Several players now face a nervous wait to see if they will make the final Euro 2008 squad. It was their last chance to impress Loew before Wednesday’s announcement when the three players who will not be in the 23-man squad travelling to Austria and Switzerland are revealed.

“Of course, that result gives us food for thought,” added Löw. “The decision of who to leave out will be difficult, we will work hard again in Majorca. We have 26 good players in the squad and those who don’t make it are not wanting for talent.”

Having played in last Wednesday’s Champions League final, Germany captain Michael Ballack looked comfortable in the first half before making way for Jermaine Jones.

And teenager Marko Marin – who has yet to play a Bundesliga match having been an integral part of Borussia Moenchengladbach’s return to the German top table this season – impressed on his full debut, coming on for Bastian Schweinsteiger at the start of the second-half.

With strikers Mario Gomez and Kevin Kuranyi amongst the six players nursing injuries, Bayern Munich forward Lukas Podolski was handed the chance to impress alongside club-partner Klose in attack.

The pair combined when Podolski cut in from the right to set up Klose who opened the scoring with a goal after ten minutes. The home side went 2-0 up when midfielder David Odonkor whipped in a cross which ricocheted off the boot of Belarus midfielder Vladimir Korytko and into the back of his own net on 20 minutes.

Both Podolski and Klose made way after 54 minutes as Borussia Dortmund’s Oliver Neuville and Patrick Helmes, who will play for Bayer Leverkusen next season, were given their chance to impress, but failed to find the net.

Belarus pulled a goal back when Bulyga smashed his shot at Lehmann on the hour and the ball looped into the visitor’s net after hitting the goalkeeper’s leg. And with just two minutes left, the striker beat Lehmann again with a curling shot at the near post to claim the draw.

In their last warm-up game, Germany will meet Serbia in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday and open their Euro 2008 campaign against Poland in Klagenfurt on June 8.


British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.