Match Number: 723 Date: 07.09.2002 Location: Kaunas, Lithuania Competition: European Championship Qualifier LITHUANIA: Stauce (3) - Stankevicius (4), Gleweckas (3,5), Dedura (3,5), Skarbalius (4,5) - Semberas (3,5), Zutautas (5), Mikalajunas (3) - Razanauskas (71. Morinas) - Poskus (4,5), Jankauskas (78. Fomenko) GERMANY: Kahn (3) - Linke, Ramelow, Metzelder - Hamann, Frings, Böhme, Ballack, Schneider (86. Jeremies) - Klose, Jancker (69. Neuville) Scoring: 0:1 Ballack (27., assist Schneider) 0:2 Stankevicius (59., own goal, assist Frings) Referee: Graeme Poll (England) Yellow cards: Semberas - Metzelder, Frings, Jancker Attendance: 8,500 (sold out)A solid if uninspired effort as Germany kicked off their Euro 2004 campaign with a victory against an overmatched Lithuania. This was the first time the two teams have ever met, but is unlikely to be regarded as memorable by either side. Unlike the previous friendly against Bulgaria, coach Rudi Voeller relied on the tried veterans of the recent World Cup success. The Lithuanians relied on mostly home based players, with a few Legionaires thrown in.
The Germans started out slow, but were soon controlling the match. Carsten Jancker looked to have opened the scoring after about 20 minutes, but ended up whistled for a foul on GK Stauce instead. The DFB squad kept up the pressure, testing Stauce with hard shots, but he couldn't stop Ballack's perfect blast from about 22 meters into the lower corner. The German midfielder followed up his excellent World Cup performance with another superb outing, easily winning Man-of-the-Match. Further German efforts came to naught, as Stauce showed himself to be sharp.
In the 2nd half, the Germans got a bit lazy, which allowed the Lithuanians at least some chances. They appeared to begin to believe that they might have a chance to salvage a draw, when they finished themselves off. Defender Skarabelius attempted to clear away Frings cross, but instead headed into his own net. This took the wind out of their sails, and the Germans completely controlled the match from then on, passing the ball around, and occasionally popping up in front of the goal with good chances, which usually Stauce managed to parry. Overall, the DFB squad could have scored another 2-3 goals if they had really pressed hard.
Aside from the oustanding Ballack, defensive midfielder Dieter Hamman and defender carsten Ramelow also had good matches. On the other hand, midifielder Jörg Böhme was total crap. He lost the ball which led to Lithuania's best chance: a 1-on-1 for Poskus against Kahn, but he shot to the outside of the net. He also chopped down a Lithuanian in the box, but the ref was blind, so he escaped. The other weakness were the forwards Klose and Jancker, who also pretty much sucked.