Germany 1-3 The Netherlands Goals from three forwards helps Dutch win the battle of old rivals.
Germany 1-3 The Netherlands
The Netherlands claimed a satisfying away victory against Germany with an impressive attacking display tonight.
Goals from Patrick Kluivert, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Ruud van Nistelrooij underlined the home side's strength going forward, while Germany could only find a consolation from recalled veteran forward Fredi Bobic. The Dutch will be particularly pleased with the result after failing to make the 2002 FIFA World Cup, while old rivals Germany reached the final.
Roared on by a sell-out crowd in Gelsenkirchen, the Germans started strongly with World Cup hero Miroslav Klose and Bobic looking an impressive partnership for the home side. 1. FC Kaiserslautern forward Klose, who scored five goals at Korea/Japan, thought he had scored after eight minutes only for Edwin van der Sar to push his fierce shot wide.
After that, the Netherlands began to impose their passing game on the match and Edgar Davids tried his luck with a long-range drive that went just wide four minutes later. Buoyed by that, the Dutch were rewarded with the opening goal on 22 minutes. Davids' free-kick from the right found Kluivert in space in the centre and the FC Barcelona man's left-footed shot went in through the legs of defender Marko Rehmer.
Germany came back strongly and Thorsten Frings almost drew the match level in the 31st minute after a great run and shot, but his effort from 25 metres fizzed just wide. Parity was restored three minutes later, Bobic heading home Bernd Schneider's free-kick to make a goalscoring return for the Hannover 96 man after four years away from the international set-up.
He had only received a late call-up to the squad after an injury to Carsten Jancker but he very nearly put his side in the lead soon after the interval. Bobic was sent through on goal and could have won a penalty as Boudewijn Zenden's challenge saw him tumble to the ground. The Dutch, meanwhile, were content to defend resolutely and attack on the break.
That tactic paid off in the 68th minute as Hasselbaink, on as a substitute for Roy Makaay, received a neat pass from Rafael van der Vaart before scoring with a precise side-foot finish beyond German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. Michael Ballack could have equalised a minute later but pulled his shot wide of the goal with the Dutch still seemingly celebrating.
Dick Advocaat's men then sealed a famous victory when Manchester United FC man Van Nistelrooij got on the scoresheet with eleven minutes to play. Clarence Seedorf's low cross from the right teed him up and he left Kahn with no chance.