Wales unlucky in Germany
Germany went four points clear of Wales after a rather unconvincing 1-0 win in Monchengladbach.
By Carla Hilton
Last Updated: 16/10/08 11:25am
Germany went four points clear of Wales after a rather unconvincing performance in Monchengladbach.
Joachim Low's unchanged German side seemed to struggle certainly in the first half against Wales who, with an average age of 24, held their own through most of the game and could have been proud of their performance in front of their 15,000 travelling supporters.
It was a slow first 45 minutes in Monchengladbach with neither side posing too many threats. Miroslav Klose appeared to have the first chance of the game just before 20 minutes of play after picking up on a cross in by Bastian Schweinsteiger. His left-footed effort curled just wide of the post and very nearly gave Germany the lead.
Minutes later Schweinsteiger had a long-range shot just skim the top of the crossbar.
Despite their dominance as far as possession was concerned, the Germans just could not find a way through John Toshack's back-four.
Joachim Low's first change came just after half time with Klose making way for Patrick Helmes.
The 24-year-old striker, who has scored eight goals in nine matches for Bayern Leverkusen, was brought in to freshen up the German attack amidst fears Klose may have picked up a knock earlier in the game.
Minutes after that change Germany had a chance through Piotr Trochowski. The 24-year-old midfielder picked up on a timely pass from Podolski but his shot was cleared by defender James Collins.
Wales, despite their failed attempts to threaten the German defence through most of the first half, created a couple of decent chances in the second.
Their first real chance coming just before the 70 minute mark as Craig Bellamy broke through some sloppy German defending.
The Hammers front man came one-on-one with keeper Rene Adler but fired the ball straight at the German stopper who, despite an initial bobbling reaction, managed to hold the ball well.
No sooner had Wales had a shot on target than Germany had taken the lead. Trochowski, who had already posed a threat on goal, produced some beautifully controlled football 30 yards out and with an exquisite finish netted his first goal for Germany.
After that Wales seemed a tired force and struggled to bring themselves back into the game.
Bellamy again posing the only real threat to the German defence did find a way through with 10 minutes remaining but his cross met a slow-to-react Gunter and was eventually cleared.
Given their youth, John Toshack's Wales could have been proud of their performance against an experienced German side despite coming away with a 1-0 defeat in Monchengladbach.
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||3|
|11||Shots off Target||3|