Germany - Belorussia 2:2 (2:0)

Match Number: 	801
Date:		27-May-2008
Location:	Kaiserslautern
Competition:	Friendly

Lahm, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Hitzlsperger
Odonkor (79. Fritz), Ballack (46. Jones), Frings (67. Trochowski), Schweinsteiger (46. Marin)
Klose (54. Neuville), Podolski (54. Helmes)

Korytko, Filipenko, Lenzewitsch, Omeljantschuk
Alexander Hleb, Romaschtschenko (46. Sitko)
Putsilo (73. Pawlow)
Wjatscheslaw Hleb (54. Rodijonow), Bulyga (90. Kornilenko)

1:0  Klose (10.)
2:0 Korytko (20., own goal)
2:1 Bulyga (61.)
2:2 Bulyga (88.)

Referee:	Ceferin (Slovenia)
Yellow cards:	Lenzewitsch, Putsilo

Attendance: 47,258 (sold out)

Germany's pre-Euro2008 test against Belorussia has to be rated as a failure, as the DFB squad had to settle for a 2-2 draw in München. This is a team that they should rip, and they can't even win. Sounds like Herr Löw still has a lot of work to do if Germany is not to disgrace itself in the upcoming tourney.

Actually, things didn't start out too badly. Considering that the squad was in training camp in Mallorca, they showed no signs of crappiness early. Instead, with Chelski legionary Michael Ballack back in the lineup, they were immediately all over the Belorussians. After only 10 minutes, Miro Klose put Germany ahead. He might have been offsides, but he kept his cool and rounded the keeper. Germany was dominating, and not much later, David Odonkor put in a tight cross that one of the Belorussians knocked into his own net. So after 30 minutes, dominating the match and cruising, one might hope for a rout.

Instead, Germany dilly-dallied, and eventually were punished by two 2nd half Belorussian goals. GK Jens Lehmann hardly looked brilliant on either, although it wasn't totally his fault either. It's just that he's an annoying prat. The real culprit was probably Christoph Metzelder, who had brought the Holzbanksplinterimarschverletzung to Spain, and was playing centreback. His lack of conditioning was apparent as he was outpaced in the 2nd half by the quicker Belorussian forwards, leading to the goals. He wasn't a disaster, but needs to step it up. Gladbach youngster Markus Marin was given a debut in the 2nd half, and had some nice moments on the wing. Schalke's Jermaine Jones also got in, but let's face it, he's less impressive than his sister Steffi Jones. Stuttgart sniper Mario Gomez was left on the beach in Spain, and the Podolski/Klose combo up front was hardly overwhelming.

The Belorussians managed to survive the early assault and just kept plugging away in the 2nd half. They got their just reward, and you have to feel they deserve a break, given that lunatic Lukashenko who runs the country.

All in all, disappointing for Germany, although the 1st half was relatively impressive. Let's hope the reason is that Löw deliberately told his troops not to show too much and keep it for the real tournament...

Abseits Guide to German Soccer