Germany beat US 4-1 in World Cup warm-up
23 March 2006, DORTMUND, GERMANY - Beleaguered Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann had plenty to smile about on Wednesday night as the World Cup hosts scored four times in the second half for a convincing 4-1 victory against the U.S.
23 March 2006
DORTMUND, GERMANY - Beleaguered Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann had plenty to smile about on Wednesday night as the World Cup hosts scored four times in the second half for a convincing 4-1 victory against the U.S.
Klinsmann played his part in the victory as two of the substitutes he introduced into the game in the second half found the net. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Oliver Neuville gave Germany a two-goal lead before Miroslav Klose and captain Michael Ballack also scored.
Eddie Johnson pulled one back for the Americans late in the game.
"I thought we played well in the first twenty minutes, but then lost our composure a bit after we failed to score. At half time I told the players that they needed to continue playing as they had at first and we would then surely find the net.
"Of course it helped a lot to score so early into the second half and after that things went right."
He said that he had felt the pressure after recent criticism following Germany's last games and his decision not to attend a World Cup workshop.
"Franz Beckenbauer told me not to read newspapers starting a month ahead of the World Cup and I think that I will stick to that," he said.
Coming off a 4-1 defeat against Italy in their last friendly, Germany were eager to make amends and went into the game against the number-five ranked team in the world very determined.
They created two chances in the opening spell, but Lukas Podolski's shot from close range hit the side netting, while Ballack's header went narrowly wide.
Although the visitors played with a second-string side, Germany failed to stamp their authority on the game in the first half and there were jeers as the team left the field for the break.
Klinsmann made two important changes in the second half, bringing on Schweinsteiger for Podolski during half time and the Bayern midfielder scored 45 seconds after the restart with a freekick that curled past goalkeeper Kassey Keller.
German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn kept the score for his side in the 67th minute with an excellent save from a Johnson header following a Steve Cherundolo freekick.
A minute later Klinsmann sent on Neuville for Gerald Asamoah and four minutes later the substitute made it 2-0 with a well-taken volley from the edge of the area that beat his Borussia Moenchengladbach team-mate Keller after being set up by Klose.
Two minutes later the two swapped roles as Neuville turned provider for Klose who went into the area and slammed the ball past a diving Keller.
Ballack completed the scoring for the home side in the 79th minute with a header from another Klose assist.
Ballack said that the team put themselves under pressure. "After playing so disappointingly in the last game, we were very determined to do it better. This made it a bit more difficult for us in the first half.
"After scoring early in the second half we then had a chance to find our game and I am pleased that we managed a convincing victory which should give us some confidence."
The Americans pulled one back seven minutes from time when Kahn failed to head clear a ball just outside the area and Johnson had the last touch to send the ball trickling over the line.
Although American coach Bruce Arena went into the game without most of his regulars, the American players were understandably disappointed with the result. "This was a learning experience," Cherundolo told ESPN TV after the game.
Subject: German news