Germany - Cameroon 2:0 (0:0)

Match Number:	717
Date:		11.06.2002
Location:	Shizuoka, Japan
Competition:	World Cup, Japan/Korea 2002

Kahn - 
Linke, Ramelow, Metzelder - 
Hamann - Frings, Ziege - 
B. Schneider (80. Jeremies), Ballack - 
Klose (84. Neuville), Jancker (46. Bode)
Coach: Völler 

Boukar - 
Song, Kalla, Tchato (53. Suffo) - 
Geremi, Foe, Wome - 
Lauren, Olembe (64.Ngom Olembe)
- Eto'o, Mboma (82. Job)
Coach: Schäfer 

1:0 Bode (50., assist Klose)
2:0 Klose (79., assist Ballack)
Referee: Antonio Lopez Nieto

Yellow/red cards: Ramelow (40.), Suffo (77.) 
Yellow cards: Foe, Song, Tchato, Geremi, Olembe, Lauren - Jancker, Hamann, 
Ballack, Kahn, Ziege, Frings 

Attendance: 50,000 

Considering the circumstances, a decent result for the Germans, who advance to the next round with this 2-0 win. However, it wasn't easy, and a certain amount of luck was involved.

With Ireland certain to kick lame Saudi Arabia's ass (they did, 3-0), Cameroon needed a win to advance. And with the Germans needing only a draw, it was no suprise that they decided to play crap and try and nurse through a draw. We'll probably hear some lame excuses for the anti-football, but basically it was somewhat gutless. The Africans attacked from the start and dominated the first half. They had several promising chances that they either flubbed or that an attentive Kahn secured. Meanwhile, the ref was on a personal mission of carding everyone on the pitch. (He failed, with only 16 bookings). While some were legit, a lot was ticky-tack. In any case, already with their backs to the wall, the Germans got themselves in deeper, as Carsten Ramelow got his ass tossed after 40 minutes after his second yellow. Things were beginning to look grim. Germany had failed to make any headway in attack, and Cameroon was controlling the game and putting on the pressure.

However, in the half, Voeller made what turned out to be a brillinat substitution, as he dumped the heretofor worthless Jancker and brought on Marco Bode, to strengthen the left midfield. This paid immediate dividends, since after only 5 minutes, the Germans took the lead, against the run of play. Again it was the German's man of the hour, Miroslav Klose who was key. Klose stole a back pass and forced his way through 4 defenders, laying off the ball to Bode, who easily hammered home. This goal against the run of play had an immediate effect of settling down the German play, and the defense no longer played like Angsthasen. Nevertheless, the desperate Cameroonians kept up their attacking efforts, and were almost rewarded. Lauren was left unmarked on a cross and headed against the post; a beaten Kahn then smothered the rebound shot from Mboma. A few minutes later, the ref sent off an African for a not particularily dirty challenge, and the squads were even again. The Germans immediately broke out in attack, and Klose ran under a cross and headed home, his tournament leading 5th. This decided the match, and only a great save against Ballack's unmarked header by Cameroonian keeper Boukar kept the game from turning into a rout.

Despite the lame strategy in parts of the 1st half, playing like rabbits instead of panzers, not a bad result for the DFB squad. After a shaky start, they pulled together especially in the 2nd half and got a result.

The main surprise is that Christian Ziege shaved his head, getting rid of his ridiculous Mohawk. Probably he saw US Clint Mathis even dummer looking cut, and decided now would be a good time to remove it.

Abseits Guide to German Soccer