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Germany settle for a draw with old rivals Italy

The German national team had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Italy in Wednesday's friendly in Dortmund. Despite a stunning early goal, the Italians equalized ten minutes from time.

Germany's Mesut Özil

Mesut Özil helped set up Germany's goal

Germany had not beaten Italy in 16 years, and it was in Dortmund that Italy inflicted a heart-breaking World Cup semi-final defeat on Germany back in 2006. On Wednesday, in the same stadium, Germany were keen for revenge, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Germany took the game to Italy from the start and were rewarded with the lead after 16 minutes through a well-worked goal.

After playing a sublime one-two with Mesut Özil, Bayern Munich forward Thomas Müller set up his team-mate Miroslav Klose, who slotted the ball past Italian keeper Gigi Buffon.

For most of the rest of the game, Italy pressured Germany - but without really troubling German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Italy felt they should have had a penalty on two occasions, but the Dutch referee Eric Braamhaar wasn't having any of it.

Germany's Miroslav Klose and teammates

Miroslav Klose opened the scoring on 16 minutes

However ten minutes from time, Germany frittered the ball away in their own half, creating an opening for Italy's Giuseppe Rossi. His first strike was parried by Neuer, but the US-born striker fired the deflection into the back of the net.

On home turf

German coach Joachim Löw praised his team's "neatly played out goal" but said they did not take their chances in the second half well enough to take the game.

"The pace we had at the beginning of the game, we couldn't sustain over 90 minutes," said Löw.

"It's a real shame we conceded that goal," said German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger after the game. "I have confidence that in the future we are a team that can beat the Italians."

After calling up five players from the Bundesliga's runaway leaders, Borussia Dortmund, Löw surprisingly declined to include any of them in the starting line-up.

In the second half though, Löw gave rising star Mario Götze, along with Mats Hummels and Kevin Grosskreuz a run-out ahead of a home crowd of 60,000.

Author: Rob Turner, Catherine Bolsover
Editor: Matt Hermann

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