Euro 2004: Germans dismiss memories of 2000

21st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 June 2004 , ALMANCIL - Captain Oliver Kahn insisted on Monday that Germany were not thinking of the 3-0 debacle against Portugal from four years ago when they take on an under-strength Czech team at Euro 2004 in search of a quarter-final berth. Like the Czechs now, Portugal were already qualified for knockout stages at Euro 2000 and rested several stars in that game. They nonetheless destroyed the Germans who crashed out winless. But Kahn said: "The situation was completely different four years ago. It

21 June 2004

ALMANCIL - Captain Oliver Kahn insisted on Monday that Germany were not thinking of the 3-0 debacle against Portugal from four years ago when they take on an under-strength Czech team at Euro 2004 in search of a quarter-final berth.

Like the Czechs now, Portugal were already qualified for knockout stages at Euro 2000 and rested several stars in that game. They nonetheless destroyed the Germans who crashed out winless.

But Kahn said: "The situation was completely different four years ago. It is a ridiculous comparison."

"I am not thinking about elimination," he added.

The team may be better on paper, but Germany are yet to win in Portugal, coming off an impressive 1-1 against the Netherlands and a woeful 0-0 against newcomers Latvia.

Kahn at least acknowledged that Germany should feel save against the reserves on the Czech team which beat Latvia 2-1 and the Dutch 3- 2 to make the knockout stages and now will rest the likes of Pavel Nedved and Jan Koller.

"It is the most stupid thought to believe in an advantage just because they are playing with reserve players. Every team facing Germany will give it all they have," said Kahn.

The Germans will have to relay on hope above all as coach Rudi Voeller has no miracle man to pull out of his hat.

Apart from Kevin Kuranyi all of his strikers flopped against Latvia, which will make him return to a lineup with a lone forward (Kuranyi) and Michael Ballack as attacking midfielder on Wednesday in Lisbon.

Voeller may toy fielding teenager Bastian Schweinsteiger in the starting 11 for more offensive power, but said he is highly unlikely to present the 18-year-old striker talent Lukas Podolski as well.

"Lukas is a huge talent and here to learn. Let's wait and see whether he will play at Euro," said Voeller.

Germany are likely in a must-win situation as they can not bank on Latvia earning another draw against the Dutch which would see them through with a draw of their own - possibly even a defeat.

"We believe that we will have to win our match," said Voeller.

But apart from simply not having the adequate players, Voeller said it would be suicide to go on an allout attack.

"We will not invite them to counter-attack," said Voeller.

Kahn also said that a safety-first attitude was essential.

"It was clear from the outset that we would not storm through the group. We have a very good defensive system with which we can go very far in the tournament," said Kahn.

However, another 0-0 could mark the end of Germany's Euro adventure.

DPA

Subject: German news

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