Former internationals of West and East Germany came together for a match in Leipzig to celebrate 20 years since the two national associations were reunited.
The stars from the former German Democratic Republic held sway on the field against a selection of 1990 FIFA World Cup winners of West Germany, but the 2-1 scoreline was only a sideshow to the special occasion.
West Germany had the first chance after seven minutes when captain Lothar Matthäus was denied by goalkeeper Perry Bräutigam and the post, before former Germany coach Jürgen Klinsmann went close with a header and then was thwarted by Bräutigam after half an hour. Karl-Heinz Riedle headed in after good work from Stefan Reuter to make it 1-0 to the West but East Germany should have been level on 38 minutes when Ulf Kirsten skied his effort from close range.
Ten minutes into the second half parity was restored when Kirsten was fouled in the box and Olaf Marschall converted the penalty. The former 1. FC Dynamo Dresden and Bayer 04 Leverkusen striker also netted the winner, drilling in at the far post following a corner.
"Obviously it was our priority to have fun but it was a good match of football," said Kirsten. East Germany coach Eduard Geyer added: "I think during the second half it was quite thrilling and the fans realised this and provided a great atmosphere."
Klinsmann was delighted by the success of the entire evening. "It was a wonderful reunion – there were so many stories on the pitch. The legs were quite heavy and sore in the end, but it was such a fun evening." A gala celebration on Sunday in Leipzig will mark the exact 20th anniversary since the reformation of the united German Football Association (DFB).
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