Germany defeats Serbia in last warmup

German Football
By German Football May 31, 2008 19:09

Germany defeats Serbia in last warmup

Veteran striker Oliver Neuville and captain Michael Ballack sealed a 2-1 win over Serbia in the hosts’ final Euro 2008 warm-up. Germany were down 1-0 at half-time before Neuville and Ballack struck to give Germany the perfect send off to Euro 2008.

Chelsea midfielder Ballack unleashed a free-kick on 82 minutes to complete Germany’s come-back after Neuville had equalised after Serbian midfielder Bosko Jankovic had grabbed the first-half goal. Borussia Moenchengladbach forward Neuville, 35, scored his first international goal in almost two years on 74 minutes to equalize as the hosts looked to be heading for defeat.

With a week until his side begin their Euro 2008 campaign against Poland in Klagenfurt on June 8, this was the result Germany coach Joachim Loew wanted. After his side surrendered a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw with minnows Belarus on Tuesday night in Kaiserslautern, Loew had promised an improved performance and his side delivered despite their early set back. Although Serbia – who lost out to Portugal and Poland in Euro 2008 qualification – led the home side for 74 minutes, Germany largely dominated the game.

The hosts fell behind on 18 minutes when a superb pass from midfielder Sasa Ilic split the defence and centre-back Christoph Metzelder was sluggish to respond as midfielder Bosko Jankovic sprinted into the penalty area. The 24-year-old made no mistake and drilled his shot through the legs of Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann to give his side the lead.

The hosts responded by laying siege to the Serbian goal with Ballack and striker Mario Gomez both going close. Ballack headed straight at Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic on 38 minutes while earlier Gomez had scuffed his shot with the goal at his mercy as the German attack poured forward.

Hertha Berlin defender Arne Friedrich came on at the break for Bremen’s Per Mertesacker and striker Lukas Podolski took over from defender Philipp Lahm as Germany went all out for a goal. But it was the Serbians who rattled the cross-bar with Lehmann beaten early in the second-half.

Germany finally got the break through they craved when Ballack slid a pass into defender Marcell Jansen on the edge of the Serb’s penalty area and he rocketed a cross in for Neuville to smash past Stojkovic on 74 minutes. And Ballack rifled his free-kick through a Serbian wall of defenders to give Germany the lead.

German Football
By German Football May 31, 2008 19:09
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