The Americans might call it soccer but they've already
proved that they know what football's really about.
America showed a lot of early movement up front to earn the
the first corner of the match. Then Germany started to impose themselves on the game a
little more and troubled the American defence.
With 17 minutes gone, America showed their pace on the
break as Landon Donovan forced Oliver Kahn -- earning his 50th international cap -- to
finger tip the shot wide of his right-hand post, for a corner.
With half an hour played, America have proved to be the
better side and Landon Donovan could have put the United States ahead, if he didn't
hesitate and allow Ollie Kahn to close the angle.
With another amazing stop in the 35th minute, Oliver Kahn
is turning out to be the man of the match; as the rest of the German defence fail to
contain the American attacks.
-- GOAL -- 1-0 Michael Ballack relieved some of the pressure by rising above Tony
Sanneh; to head under the helpless Brad Friedel, in the 39th minute.
Two minutes before half-time, Miroslav Klose almost doubled
the score when he headed against the right post.
Half-time: Germany 1 -- United States 0
Team USA split the German defence again straight after the
restart.... Then Germany had another stroke of luck when they stopped the ball on the line
in a goalmouth scramble.
America seemed to be playing with an extra man as they
passed the ball around with ease, made use of both flanks and forced Oliver Kahn into an
aggressive diving punch.... to clear the ball from danger.
The teams started to lose their nerve in the last half an
hour and Hugh Dallas had to make a number of bookings to keep the game in order (he even
booked Oliver Neuville instead of Jens Jeremies -- which FIFA eventually overturned).
Then Neuville and Klose both had chances for Germany but
chose to go it alone and wasted them.
The Americans can hold their heads up high with this
display..... where for much of the game they were undoubtedly the better team.
Player of the Match:
Oliver Kahn -- The last man in the German defence worked hard during his 50th
international appearance; with a magnificent display of goalkeeping, against a very
threatening America side.
Eddie Lewis (40 mins)
Eddie Pope (41 mins)
Sebastian Kehl (66 mins)
Jens Jeremies (68 mins)
Landon Donovan (68 mins)
Pablo Mastroeni (69 mins)
Greg Berhalter (70 mins)
1 Oliver Kahn; 15 Sebastian Kehl, 2 Thomas Linke, 21 Christoph Metzelder, 6 Christian
Ziege; 13 Michael Ballack, 22 Torsten Frings, 8 Dietmar Hamann, 19 Bernd Schneider (16
Jens Jeremies -- 60 mins); 11 Miroslav Klose (20 Oliver Bierhoff -- 88 mins), 7 Oliver
Neuville (17 Marco Bode -- 79 mins).
1 Brad Friedel; 3 Greg Berhalter, 2 Frankie Hejduk (13 Cobi Jones -- 65 mins), 4 Pablo
Mastroeni (8 Earnie Stewart -- 80 mins), 23 Eddie Pope, 22 Tony Sanneh; 21 Landon Donovan,
7 Eddie Lewis, 5 John O'Brien, 10 Claudio Reyna; 20 Brian McBride (11 Clint Mathis -- 58