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Reigning champions Germany showed signs of opening-night nerves as they were held to a surprise goalless draw by a determined Netherlands side who could even have snatched a stunning Group B win.
Dutch coach Roger Reijners had promised that the 2009 semi-finalists would take the game to the holders, and although they did not entirely throw caution to the wind, they allowed it to sail away on the breeze sufficiently to enjoy the better of the goalscoring opportunities. The stalemate ended a run of 19 straight wins for Germany at UEFA Women's EURO finals and, but for veteran goalkeeper and captain Nadine Angerer, the Netherlands could even have ended their sequence of 57 matches unbeaten in the tournament, qualifying included.
Neid had won all her previous four meetings with the Dutch as Germany coach, and must have been convinced an enjoyable evening lay ahead when the potent scoring machine that struck 64 times in qualifying almost clicked immediately into gear. However, though well-positioned, both Célia Okoyino Da Mbabi and Leonie Maier could not connect cleanly enough to test Loes Geurts in the Netherlands goal.
The Vittsjö GIK keeper might have been stretched significantly had a wall of orange shirts not closed quickly to block Nadine Kessler's well-struck effort, while Dzsenifer Marozsan clipped wide with only Geurts to beat.
It was Angerer, though, who had to extend herself to keep Germany level come the break. The veteran smartly tipped aside Lieke Martens' long-range shot, the highlight of a promising first half for the FCR 2001 Duisburg winger, and then flew full length to turn away a header from the equally impressive Kirsten van de Ven.
Neid's half-time introduction of Simone Laudehr did little to destabilise a flawlessly organised Dutch back four, in which captain Daphne Koster stood out, while Reijners' side grew in confidence going forward.
When Angerer raced from her goal only to miscue her clearance, greater patience might have allowed Renée Slegers to send her first-time shot into the empty net rather than wide of the target. After breaking clear, Manon Melis did produce a precision finish but Angerer flicked out a boot to deny the FC Malmö forward a shock winner.
Player of the Match: Lieke Martens
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