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Klose spoils Faroe Islands fairy-tale

Faroe Islands 0-2 Germany Miroslav Klose's late breakthrough helps Germany avoid embarrassing draw.

A defiant display by the Faroe Islands kept Germany at bay for 89 minutes of this UEFA EURO 2004™ Group 5 match, before they succumbed to last-gasp goals from Miroslav Klose and Fredi Bobic. The result sent Rudi Völler’s team two points clear of Iceland at the top of their group.

Ballack injured
Völler was denied the services of star midfield player Michael Ballack before the game, so opted to play Sebastien Kehl. He decided to drop Miroslav Klose and promoted Oliver Neuville to the starting lineup after the disappointment of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Scotland.

German frustration
The visitors dominated the first-half but a combination of poor finishing and last-ditch Faroe Islands defending ensured that the sides went into the break at 0-0 – a scoreline which caused the German team to play with increasing impatience until the final moments.

Bobic profligate
The best chances of the first half fell to Bobic. Having scored Germany’s goal in the Scotland game, he looked eager to continue his good recent form. On 23 minutes he was given the simplest of chances. Home goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen hit a clearance straight to Bobic, but with an open goal at his mercy, he contrived to hit the near post.

Spectacular clearance
Just two minutes before the break, Germany should have scored. Neuville scurried clean through, but the ball got caught under his feet and his effort was blocked by Mikkelsen. The ball looped into the air and Bobic headed towards the empty net, only for a sliding Jón Jacobsen to clear the ball off his own post.

German siege
If Germany had dominated the first half, the second was a siege. Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn had been replaced by Frank Rost at the break, but the substitute barely got a touch of the ball as Germany camped in the Faroes’ half. Shots and crosses rained in, but Ramelow came closest on 65 minutes when his drive from the edge of the box crashed against the post.

Last-gasp goal
Neuville was repeatedly denied by the acrobatics of Mikkelsen, while Bobic found no cure for his profligacy. Then, with Germany looking increasingly nervous, the goal came. On 89 minutes, Neuville curled in a free-kick from the right and substitute Miroslav Klose headed powerfully down and into the net.

Stoppage-time strike
Neuville was again the provider in added time, as he sent in a corner from the right-hand side. Kehl met it at the near post, but his glancing header was well saved by Mikkelsen. The rebound fell fortunately to Bobic who forced it into the net off the prostrate goalkeeper.