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Sports

Germany open women's European Championship with scoreless draw

Germany have begun their European Championship campaign with a scoreless draw against rivals the Netherlands. Both teams walked away satisfied with a point after a hard-fought match.

Germany were hoping for a victory Thursday at the Myresjohus Arena in Vaxjo, Sweden, but can still be satisfied with a well-earned point against a talented Dutch side.

"We got a point against a very, very strong team," German coach Silvia Neid said after the match. "You can't say anything bad about my team, they gave everything."

Goalkeepers keep things level

Germany's Celia Okoyino da Mbabi had the first chance of the match in the seventh minute after a good pass from Jennifer Cramer, but goalkeeper Loes Geurts denied her close-range shot. Shortly thereafter Loenie Maier got her head on the end of a Dzsenifer Marozsan free kick, but her finish was not accurate enough.

"We weren't so precise in attack," Neid said. "All together it went back and forth, so the draw was justified."

The Netherlands tested the Germans with first-half shots of their own from Lieke Martens and Kirsten van den Ven, but again it was the goalkeeper, this time Nadine Angerer, who kept the game level.

Undefeated streak

The draw means Germany maintain an undefeated streak against the Dutch going back 13 years. The Netherlands team also expressed satisfaction with the result against the Germans, who have won the last six tournaments running.

"If you get a point against a world-class team like Germany, you can be pretty satisfied," said Coach Roger Reijners. "But in the second half we had the better chances - unfortunately we didn't utilize them."

On Sunday Germany take on Iceland in their next Group B match. Iceland drew 1-1 with Norway in the evening's other game. Kristine Hegland opened the scoring in the 26th minute, and Margret Vidarsdottir drew level with a penalty just under five minutes before the final whistle.

dr/kms (dpa, SID)