The official website for European football

Germany impress Advocaat

Published: Tuesday 15 June 2004, 23.59CET
"All credit to the Germans' system," said Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat after Rudi Völler's side held out for a draw in Porto.
by Adam Szreter
from Porto

Match statistics


Goals scored1
Attempts on target5
Attempts off target10
Fouls committed16
Yellow cards2
Red cards0


Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:58 CET


P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Published: Tuesday 15 June 2004, 23.59CET

Germany impress Advocaat

"All credit to the Germans' system," said Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat after Rudi Völler's side held out for a draw in Porto.

The result was as expected, if not quite the manner of its achievement. Two of Europe's greatest footballing rivals, currently struggling to live up to their glorious past, provided a typically hard-fought spectacle without ever quite hitting the high notes.

Frings free-kick
Germany will take heart from their performance, the Netherlands from the result. The Dutch equalised late on, courtesy of a Ruud van Nistelrooij finish after Torsten Frings had put Germany ahead with a free-kick intended as a cross that went straight through a crowded penalty area and in off the far post.

Telling cross
If the Dutch were cursing their luck at that moment, Germany eventually had cause to regret one defensive lapse when Andy van der Meyde escaped the attentions of substitute Fabian Ernst to produce a telling cross for Van Nistelrooij.

Defensively sound
Other than that Germany were defensively sound, fending off the pace of Marc Overmars, introduced after the break, and their opponents only began to worry them when the imposing figure of Pierre van Hooijdonk entered the fray late on.

'Out of the blue'
"We'd have taken 1-1 before the game but we kept them pretty quiet and we should have won," said German midfield player Dietmar Hamann. "We had a few chances on the break in the second half and didn't allow them many chances. It was out of the blue, sure, but if you allow Ruud a chance like that he will punish you."

Support vital
The Dutch goalscorer himself said: "We had a lot of possession but not many chances. You know when you play Germany it's going to be tough and it's going to be compact. Defeat would have been disastrous, but the support got us through. We deserved it and we go into the next game on a high."

'Fair result'
Germany coach Rudi Völler said: "We knew that the Netherlands would increase the pressure in the second half and I can live with this result. We are now looking forward to playing Latvia. There was disappointment in the dressing room but slowly and surely it will sink in that this was a fair result.

Völler confident
"It was not only order and discipline, but Germany dominated the game at times, which is not easy to do against a top team like the Dutch. They deserved the draw. There is never any guarantee of success but I was confident the team would present itself as it did.

Form recovery
"I also knew the Dutch wouldn't be as weak as they had been against [the Republic of] Ireland [in their final warm-up match]." Michael Ballack, voted Man of the Match, added: "Both teams have restored confidence at home after recent poor results."

Advocaat praise
Dutch coach Dick Advocaat said: "There were two teams with a lot of respect for each other. We tried to attack in the first half but couldn't reach our forward players, so credit to the Germans' system. The Germans scored a goal against the run of play from the free-kick and then took the game to us for the rest of the first half.

'Attacking instincts'
"We had to take more risks in the second half, so introduced two players [Overmars and Wesley Sneijder] with more attacking instincts to try and get the equaliser. We scored a good goal through Van Nistelrooij. It was deserved and 1-1 was the right result for this match."

Last updated: 16/06/04 11.13CET