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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 June, 2004, 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK
Germany 1-1 Holland

Ruud van Nistelrooy gets the better of defender Christian Worns to score for Holland
Ruud van Nistelrooy rescued a point for Holland with an 81st-minute equaliser against their arch-rivals.

Germany had led through a Torsten Frings free-kick from the left which looped over Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar and flew in off the back post.

Holland were in disappointing form but burst into life in the closing stages.

Van Nistelrooy brilliantly turned in Andy van der Meyde's cross at the near post to level, and Philip Cocu's header almost snatched a late victory.

Dutch coach Dick Advocaat had replaced the injured Michael Reiziger with Johnny Heitinga at right-back, and chose Boudewijn Zenden instead of Arjen Robben on the left of midfield.

There were no surprises in the German line-up, with their captain, goalkeeper Oliver Kahn celebrating his 35th birthday with his 70th cap.

The Dutch made a bright start in front of their legions of fans, creating the first opening inside two minutes when van Nistelrooy just failed to latch on to Cocu's chip over the defence.

But the Germans quickly stifled Holland's attacking threat, and begain to threaten themselves.

KEY MOMENTS
30 mins: Frings' free-kick puts Germany ahead
81 mins: van Nistelrooy levels for Holland

Their first meaningful shot on goal came on 19 minutes when Christian Worns met a cross from the left, but his scuffed effort was easily collected by van der Sar.

Van der Sar was soon in action again, tipping Kevin Kuranyi's 25-yard shot over the bar, and from the resulting corner Worns sent a downward header bouncing high and wide.

A teasing Frings free-kick almost found Worns on the edge of the six-yard box - but Germany were not to be denied.

Cocu fouled Philip Lahm on the right and Frings stepped up to deliver a curling free-kick that looped over van der Sar and a crowd of players - and dropped in off the back post.

Van Nistelrooy was a virtual spectator by this stage, but despite this Holland remained dangerous.

Just before half-time Rafael van der Vaart seized upon a loose ball on the edge of the area and sent a low shot fizzing just wide of Kahn's left-hand post.

Advocaat brought on Marc Overmars and Wesley Sneijder at half-time to try and rejuvenate his ailing side, but it was Germany who were the first to threaten.

On 54 minutes Kurani was only inches away from meeting Bernd Schneider's teasing cross with the Holland defence again exposed. At the other end the Dutch tried their luck with long range shots from Sneijder and Giovanni van Bronckhorst but only showed real signs of improvement after the hour mark.

A fierce Overmars effort on 74 minutes was the reward for some promising approach play - but Kahn dived acrobatically to palm the shot away.

That encouraged the Dutch however, and they grabbed an equaliser with 10 minutes left when van der Meyde won possession and swung in a low cross which van Nistelrooy met at the near post to steer a first-time shot past Kahn.


Germany: Kahn, Friedrich, Worns, Nowotny, Lahm, Schneider (Schweinsteiger 67), Hamann, Baumann, Ballack, Frings (Ernst 79), Kuranyi (Bobic 85).
Subs Not Used: Lehmann, Hildebrand, Hinkel, Klose, Brdaric, Kehl, Jeremies, Ziege, Podolski.

Booked: Kuranyi, Ballack.

Holland: Van der Sar, Heitinga (Van Hooijdonk 74), Stam, Bouma, Van Bronckhorst, Davids (Sneijder 45), Cocu, Zenden (Overmars 45), Van der Vaart, van Nistelrooy, Van der Meyde.
Subs Not Used: Westerveld, Waterreus, Reiziger, Kluivert, Makaay, de Boer, Robben, Bosvelt.

Booked: Cocu, Stam.

Att: 46,000

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden).


OFFICIAL STATS BY UEFA
Category Germany Holland
Total shots 16 14
Shots on target 5 6
Possession 47% 53%
Corners won 5 7
Fouls committed 13 18
Offsides 1 0
Bookings 2 2
Sent Off 0 0



TRIVIA

  • This was the 150th match in European Championship history.
  • Germany and the Netherlands top the table as most experienced teams in the competition. The Germans played their 30th European Championship match against the Dutch. Holland featured in their 24th European tie.
  • Torsten Frings' opening goal marked the third direct free kick goal for Germany in the competition. Only France have netted more often from direct free kicks: five times. Frings' goal also marked the 15th ever from a direct free kick at the European Championships.
  • Ruud van Nistelrooy's equaliser was his first goal at a major championship in his debut match at a major championship.





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