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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 21:34 GMT
Germany 0-0 Wales
By Dewi Hughes

Wales captain Simon Davies
Simon Davies led Wales to a superb draw in Germany
Wales ended a largely disappointing Euro 2008 qualifying campaign with a hugely impressive draw in Frankfurt.

John Toshack's side, which included five Under-21 players, created few clear-cut chances but they defended solidly and kept possession well.

Germany striker Mario Gomez wasted the best chance of the match when he sent a free header wide just before half-time.

Wales suffered a few nervous moments as they tired, but they hung on to claim a draw to finish fifth in Group 10.

Germany had long ago secured qualification for next year's finals in Austria and Switzerland, but any hopes of winning the group were taken away shortly before kick-off as the Czech Republic secured top spot by beating Cyprus.

But despite the lack of an obvious edge to the game, the fans generated a scintillating atmosphere inside the impressive Commerzbank Arena as the match kicked off.

Wales, giving 21-year-old Dave Edwards his first start, made a composed start and quickly began to keep possession confidently - a feat they managed consistently for the rest of a outstanding first half.

606: DEBATE

But it was Germany who created the best opening of the half as Gomez sent a free header past the post from close range on 34 minutes.

Wales - missing Craig Bellamy, Jason Koumas and Gareth Bale - also needed a slice of luck after 14 minutes when Germany came within inches of taking the lead.

Tim Borowski's shot from outside the box was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, the ball rebound against his diving frame but the Wolves man was alert enough to claw the ball back before it crossed the goalline.

Rob Earnshaw had Wales' first sight on goal when he headed over from Simon Davies' cross, and then Carl Fletcher's 20-yard low drive went just wide.

But Wales justifiably reached half-time on level terms, and the home fans gave the visitors a huge compliment by jeering their own team off the field.

Germany were desperately missing the midfield creativity of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who had pulled the strings in the comfortable 2-0 win in Cardiff two months ago.

But as the match entered the final half hour, the home side started to turn the screw as they found space to deliver dangerous crosses.

The dominant James Collins twice had to clear yards from his own goalline, and then home captain Miroslav Klose sent a header wide.

Wales struggled to keep possession as well as they did in the first half, but captain Davies and left wing-back Chris Gunter showed great energy levels to relieve some pressure by darting down the flanks.

The final dangerous moment for Wales came with eight minutes remaining when Germany were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Wales penalty area.

But Danny Gabbidon epitomised Wales' determination as he put his body on the line once again to block Podolski's goal-bound effort.


Germany: Lehmann, Castro (Hilbert 55), Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm, Fritz, Borowski, Hitzlsperger (Rolfes 46), Podolski, Gomez (Neuville 70), Klose (capt).
Subs Not Used: Hildebrand, Hanke, Manuel Friedrich, Trochowski.

Wales: Hennessey, Ricketts, Gabbidon, J Collins, Nyatanga, Gunter, Fletcher, Davies (capt), Edwards (Crofts 90), Ledley, Earnshaw (Easter 55).
Subs Not Used: Price, Eardley, Cotterill, Evans, Morgan.

Booked: Gabbidon, Collins, Hennessey.

Att: 49,252.

Ref: Pavel Balaj (Romania).

SEE ALSO
Wales 2-2 Republic of Ireland
17 Nov 07 |  Internationals


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