The German contingent in the 74,000-strong crowd that packed out the new look Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Wednesday night were pleasantly surprised to see a positive, attacking Germany team draw 1-1 with Brazil.
Klinsmann and co-trainer Joachim Löw celebrate a job well done
On Wednesday evening, Germany's soccer players faced World Champions Brazil in what was an important game for the Germans, as it's been a long while since they had a victory against a major international rival. German national coach Jürgen Klinsmann's squad had been hoping for a change in fortunes when they took on the South Americans in Berlin's Olympic stadium.
It was Klinsmann's first home match in charge and his team turned in a determined display to offer hope for the 2006 World Cup on home soil, a 1-1 draw against world champions Brazil. However the three-time World Cup victors failed to end a miserable winless streak against big nations.
Ronaldinho free-kick opens scoring
Billed as the “World Cup 2002 revenge” the match in Berlin was just nine minutes old when Brazilian star Ronaldinho scored a cheeky goal from a free-kick just outside Germany’s penalty area. Ex-German captain Oliver Kahn did not react at all. He had been expecting a long range shot on goal from Roberto Carlos.
The situation probably had Oliver Kahn thinking back to the last time the teams had played against each other in the World Cup final in Yokohama, Japan. His only mistake of the championships maybe cost Germany the final.
But Germany were back in the game just 8 minutes later when Brazilian-born Kevin Kuranyi scored in the 17th minute, following a deflected cross from Thorsten Frings. Kuranyi has scored six of Germany's last eight goals.
Brazilian-born Kuranyi levels
Kuranyi is congratulated after scoring against the country of his birth.
Kuranyi, the Stuttgart striker, chested down the ball and slid it past goalkeeper Julio Cesar. Kuranyi scored all three goals for Germany in a 3-1 win over Austria last month. “It's great that I scored against Brazil. I couldn't be happier”, Kuranyi said.
The equalizer came just at the right time and motivated the team to push forward more. In the 24th minute Kuranyi had another shot on goal saved by Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar from a pass from Bayern Munich's Sebastian Deisler, making his comeback game in the national side, after successfully beating serious knee injuries and a bout of depression.
Germany had two chances to take the lead before halftime, but Gerald Asamoah and Philipp Lahm both shot poorly. The visitors pushed Germany in the second period with Ronaldo shooting high and wide after shaking free of newcomer Frank Fahrenhorst in one of the few opportunities in the second half.
We can hold our own, says Klinsmann
Before the game, Klinsmann said it’s better to make mistakes than not to take any risks and the German side dictated the pace of the play for much of the match: "Yes we can play with them," Klinsmann said, "and hold our own if we can keep the pace."
But it was anything other than a friendly match with much at stake for Germany. The three-time World Cup champions have not beaten a top-ranked team for nearly four years when they beat England 1: 0 in 2000. In addition, the Germans have received a lot of criticism since the Euro 2004 championships.
But the 74,000 fans could sense the new self-confidence growing in the German side and reacted well to Germany’s game strategy of aggressive marking, risk taking, crisp offensive play and lots of running. Against a side rated number one in the world, it seemed to pay off.