Youthful Germans survive Ukraine scare in friendly

Updated: 12 November 2011 10:50 IST

An experimental Germany team survived a scare on Friday as the guests had to come from 3-1 down to seal a 3-3 draw with Euro 2012 co-hosts, Ukraine in a friendly.

Youthful Germans survive Ukraine scare in friendly

Kiev:

An experimental Germany team survived a scare on Friday as the guests had to come from 3-1 down to seal a 3-3 draw with Euro 2012 co-hosts, Ukraine in a friendly.


Kiev's newly renovated 70,000 capacity Olympic Stadium will host the Euro 2012 final on July 1 and the hosts were on course for a historic first victory over the Germans at the fifth attempt before the guests hit back.

Germany were missing a host of stars with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose both injured while captain Philipp Lahm was rested, but Joachim Loew's youthful team was caught cold on a night of sub-zero temperatures.

"I am taking a lot of positives from this and I reserve the right to experiment at this stage of our preparations," said Loew defiantly after his side were the first to book their Euro 2012 place from the qualification groups.

Loew selected a very young team - the average age was just 23 - with striker Mario Gomez, 26, captaining his country for the first time and was the oldest German on the pitch.

Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil, 23, and Dortmund's rising star Mario Goetze, 19, started together for the first time, but they failed to fire and came off with 25 minutes left.

"They are both very dangerous, confident players and having them both gave us a huge advantage," insisted Loew.

Hanover 96 goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, 22, made his debut, but endured a torrid first-half by conceding three goals in the opening 45 minutes.

"This sort of thing doesn't normally happen, but it's a lesson and it will not happen to us again," said defender Mats Hummels.

The Ukraine took the lead when Dynamo Kiev striker Andriy Yarmolenko stabbed home his shot on 28 minutes for the first goal.

The second came nine minutes later when Hummels lost possession near the Ukraine penalty area and midfielder Yevhen Konoplianka sprinted some 70 metres to round Zieler and slot home to the delight of the home crowd.

Germany pulled a goal back on 39 minutes when Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos rifled a shot home from outside the penalty area.

The hosts went into the break 3-1 up when replacement Serhiy Nazarenko calmly beat Zieler with a curling shot from outside the area a minute into added time at the end of the first-half.

Loew reinforced his team at the break with Leverkusen pair Simon Rolfes and Andre Schuerrle, but Nazarenko and ex-Chelsea and AC Milan star Andriy Shevchenko both fired just wide of the German goal early in the second half.

Rolfes pulled a second goal back for Germany to make it 3-2 on 65 minutes while Loew bolstered his attack by bringing experienced pair Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller off the bench.

It paid off as Mueller hit the equaliser when he cut in from the left wing and unleashed his shot which Ukraine goalkeeper Oleksandr Rybka failed to save with a feeble attempt on 78 minutes.

The hosts could still have won the game as Konoplyanka again found acres of space to attack in the weak German defence and with time almost up replacement Marko Devic squandered a great chance to win the game from three metres out.

Germany will need to be much improved when they host Holland in Hamburg on Tuesday in their final game of 2011.



Topics : Football Eintracht Braunschweig Borussia Dortmund Ukraine Rosenborg Chelsea Germany Toni Kroos
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