England 3-3 Germany Germany scored twice late on to rescue a point.
England 3-3 Germany
Germany scored twice in the dying minutes against England to rescue a point from their opening 2001/02 UEFA European Under-19 Championship Group B game in front of 1,044 fans at the Nadderud stadium.
The small town of Bekkestua, around 20 minutes' drive from the Norwegian capital Oslo, was subjected to driving rain before the start making conditions underfoot extremely soggy. It was therefore to both sides' credit that the ensuing game contained so much skill and accurate passing, as well as endeavour.
The first chance of the game fell to England, Jerome Thomas, one of five Arsenal FC players on the pitch, driving a low shot against the legs of Daniel Haas. Germany launched an immediate counterattack - a long ball picked out another Arsenal man Moritz Volz, who slotted the ball under the diving Lee Grant to give his side the lead with just four minutes gone.
Within five minutes England were level, Arsenal's Jermaine Pennant produced a clever flick which released Crewe Alexandra FC's Dean Ashton who finished neatly. Thereafter England controlled the half's midfield exchanges with short, sprightly movements.
Thomas too hot to handle
For Germany Mike Hanke and Sebastian Kneissl cut rather lonely figures up front. Hanke did manage a stabbed shot on 24 minutes after an excellent Volz cross but it was England who moved ahead on the half-hour mark when Gary O'Neil picked out the effervescent Pennant who in turn did well to find Thomas at the far post. Haas got a hand to Thomas's shot but could not keep it out.
Germany rallied with Piotr Trochowski forcing Grant to tip an excellent long-range effort over the bar and Kneissl sliding a good chance wide after a perceptive pass by Matthias Lehmann. The final significant action before the interval saw Hanke go close to equalising with a header that Grant parried.
Germany withdrew Kneissl 15 minutes into the half and brought on David Odonkor, who made an immediate impact, dashing down the right and supplying an excellent cross for Hanke who hurried his close-range shot and saw it blocked.
Cole strikes third
England replaced the tireless Ashton with Carlton Cole, while Germany threw on an extra forward in the form of Emmanuel Krontiris, withdrawing Masmanidis. Cole's contribution proved telling as in the 73rd minute he sidefooted into an empty German net from fully 25 metres after Haas had come for, but failed to clear, a through-ball.
England looked content to take their foot off the pedal and were punished late on in the most sensational of climaxes. Firstly in the final minute of normal time a powerful header from substitute Philipp Lahn reduced the arrears. In injury time England might have made sure of the points when Cole forced Haas to make an excellent save, before Grant's block from Malik Fathi's shot fell for Hanke who headed an equaliser with the last touch of the game.
Stielike praises players
Unsurprisingly, Germany coach Ulrich Stielike was very content with his side's comeback. "We are pleased but it is not a matter of luck to gain a point in this game because we showed patience," he said. "It was a good result to gain the one point but it was a difficult game for us today."
Hunter stays positive
Meanwhile, England coach Martin Hunter was keen to stress the positive aspects of his own side's performance. "I'm disappointed at the end of the day but pleased that we've come out of the game with a point," he said. "I think it was a good all-round team effort. The preparations have gone well. One or two [players] were a bit heavy-legged at the end but that's understandable, I'm pleased with all of them."