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Hässler spares Germany CIS defeat in EURO 1992 Group 1

CIS 1-1 Germany
Thomas Hässler earned a point for the world champions .

Germany celebrate Thomas Hässler's last-gasp leveller
Germany celebrate Thomas Hässler's last-gasp leveller Icon Sport via Getty Images

Thomas Hässler struck at the death to earn a share of the points for world champions Germany in their opening EURO '92 game against a defensive side representing the former Soviet Union.

Jürgen Klinsmann, standing on the edge of the wall, ducked when Hässler took his 90th-minute free-kick, and the ball was whipped over him and into the top right corner. It was a tremendous strike by the best player on the day, and cancelled out Igor Dobrovolski's penalty opener for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

EURO 1992: All you need to know

The Soviet Union qualified for the finals before the nation was dissolved at the end of 1991. The team competed as the CIS at the finals, and their chances of beating Germany – much improved despite the absence of the injured Lothar Matthäus – received a lift when Rudi Völler broke his arm in a challenge with Oleh Kuznetzov, though he stayed on the pitch long enough to get a head to a Hässler cross.

Highlights: The best goals of EURO '92
Highlights: The best goals of EURO '92

Anatoli Byshovets's CIS deployed a curious defence-oriented strategy, with Dobrovolski pushed out wide and no central striker, and they flooded the midfield in the hope of a break. The tactic paid dividends when Dobrovolski converted a 64th-minute penalty after tangling with Stefan Reuter in the area. The stage was set for a shock result, but Hässler kept his head.

EURO 1992: Team of the Tournament

Lineups

CIS players line up ahead of the Germany game
CIS players line up ahead of the Germany gameIcon Sport via Getty Images

CIS: Kharin; Tsveiba, Chernyshov, Oleh Kuznetsov; Shalimov (Ivanov 86), Dobrovolski, Dmitri Kuznetsov, Mykhaylychenko (c), Kanchelskis; Kolyvanov, Lyuti (Onopko 46)
Substitutes: Cherchesov, Tskhadadze, Aleynikov, Yuran, Kiryakov, Korneev, Ledyakhov
Coach: Anatoli Byshovets

Germany: Illgner; Brehme, Binz, Kohler, Reuter (Klinsmann 65); Hässler, Buchwald, Effenberg,Doll; Riedle, Völler (c) (Möller 46)
Substitutes: Köpke, Thom, Helmer, Frontzeck, Schulz, Wörns
Coach: Berti Vogts

Referee: Gérard Biguet (France)