• Germany's news in English

Germany hold the Dutch to goalless draw

The Local · 15 Nov 2012, 06:42

Published: 15 Nov 2012 06:42 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

With both nations top of their respective World Cup qualifying groups, an experimental theme ran through both line-ups at Amsterdam Arena, but there was little to light up a dull encounter.

With Germany having beaten the Netherlands 2-1 in their group stage clash at Euro 2012 and the Dutch having lost 3-0 in Hamburg last November in a friendly, the Dutch were well placed to take advantage of a weakened Germany.

But the hosts failed to take their chance for a first win over the Germans since November 2002.

Germany coach Joachim Löw, who was missing eight key players, opted to start midfielder Mario Götze as a striker leading a youthful attack ahead of Thomas Mueller, Lewis Holtby and Marco Reus, the eldest at 23.

With stars Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira unavailable, Löw fielded Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundagon and Lars Bender in the defensive midfield.

Only four of the team survived from the Germany line-up which drew 4-4 with Sweden in last month's World Cup qualifier having thrown away a four-goal lead – the first time that had happened in the country's 104-year history.

"For me, this game was positive," said Löw.

"We had a changed team, with many regulars missing, but we kept our shape and discipline, that was important after the last game against Sweden.

"In the first-half, we had the courage to play forward. It was more balanced after the break, but it was important that we didn't give Holland many chances."

Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal opted to give Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer his debut while Fenerbahce striker Dirk Kuyt captained the Netherlands.

"The Germans were dominant in the first half, but we managed to get back control of the game after the break," he said.

"We had just as many chances as them in the second half. We didn't always have the ball under control in the first half and there were a few mistakes."

The Germany-based trio of Arjen Robben, Rafael van der Vaart and Ibrahim Afellay led a strong forward line, with Schalke 04 striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar surprisingly left on the bench while both Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder are injured.

"Huntelaar didn't play because we wanted to look at our options up front," explained Van Gaal. "The conversation was difficult when I told him, but it will remain between us what was said."

Both sides squandered first-half chances: Götze was denied from close-range by Vermeer after a mix-up in the Dutch defence, while only desperate defending stopped Robben capitalising when a Afellay pass put him through.

Van Gaal brought on fresh legs at half-time with three changes including Eljero Elia for Robben while Feyenoord pair Daryl Janmaat and Stefan de Vrij were given more experience with only a handful of caps between them.

Story continues below…

Löw waited until the final 20 minutes before bringing on Arsenal's Lukas Podolski for Götze to try to break the deadlock, while AC Milan's Urby Emanuelson replaced Van der Vaart.

Only a fine save from Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with 76 minutes gone denied Elia's fierce strike which was heading to the bottom right-hand corner.

Löw kept things in the family late on as Sven Bender came on for his twin brother Lars and the Dortmund midfielder was quickly called into action to help deny AC Milan's Nigel de Jong in the dying stages.

The echo of whistles and booes around the stadium summed up a frustrating night for fans and players alike.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd