Too Klose To Call In Helsinki

Finland 3-3 Germany An absolute thriller at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki saw Miroslav Klose equalise no fewer than three times as the Nationalelf picked up a point against a spirited Finland outfit. FIRST HALF The opening half hour was played, for the most part, just as expected. Germany came out sluggish early on, but Finland were unable to capitalize on several half-chances. Later, Germany recovered their form, only to see Miroslav Klose miss a tap-in, leaving the score 0-0 going into the last 15 minutes of the first half. That said, there were a few noteworthy events during this time. For example, in just the first minute we got a preview of what was to come from the German defense: a cross from the left found a wide-open Mika Vayrynen, who was more surprised that he came down with the ball than were Germans Bastian Schweinsteiger and Serdar Tasci, neither of whom made any effort towards the ball. Unfortunately for the Finns, Vayrynen was barely able to make contact with the ball, and Robert Enke easily made his first save. Two minutes later, we got another preview of what was to come, as the usually rock-solid Philipp Lahm was skinned by Jonatan Johansson. Again, Finland were unable to capitalize as Johansson’s cross found nobody in the box. After the 5’, the Germans finally found their composure and we saw a long stint of back-and-forth football with a few chances for either side, but no goals. Perhaps the best chance for the opener came when Bastian Schweinsteiger played a perfect cross to a wide-open Klose, who defender Sami Hyypia left wide open. Klose’s header barely connected, however, and the ball barely changed directions as it sailed wide of the far post. Finland took advantage of a disorganized German side, and benefited from superb play by Roman Eremenko, Vayrynen, and Johansson. In the 33’, Eremenko found Johansson at the top of the 18-yard-box. As defenders Heiko Westermann and Philipp Lahm scrambled almost confusedly, Johansson turned and blasted the ball past German keeper Robert Enke. The lead was not to be held by the Finns, however, as in the 37’, Piotr Trochowski crossed to Miroslav Klose at the top of the box. Klose ran diagonally and played the ball off his chest, in the process beating Hyypia. Klose squared and shot past an onrushing Jussi Jaaskelainen. Having conceded a goal, the Germans were still shaky at the back, and the Finns took advantage. In the 43’, Daniel Sjölund, who had recently come on for the injured Mikael Forssell, crossed for Johansson, who missed a bicycle kick. Westermann was well-positioned to field the cross and clear, but Väyrynen stepped in front of the German and drilled the ball off Enke’s hands and into the goal. Seconds after the restart, Germany won a corner. Thomas Hitzlsperger’s delivery found Klose, whose header was well saved—but spilled—by Jaaskelainen. Klose was the first to pick up the scraps as he tapped the ball home for the equalizer. SECOND HALF After a very rousing final 15 minutes to the first half, Finland came out early in search of their third go-ahead goal. In the 52’, Vayrynen played an attractive flick on for Johansson, who beat his defender leftward and into the box, but was unable to beat Enke, who did well to force a corner. The home side was not to be denied, however, as Vayrynen found a wide-open Sjölund in front of goal, who tapped home to put Finland ahead 3-2. Five minutes later, Sjoelund was found open once again, after Clemens Fritz and Westermann failed to contain a Johansson flick-header. Fortunately for the Germans, Fritz was able to recover and did well to contain Sjölund. After regaining the lead, the Finns dug in and rarely took the ball out of their own half. Germany had a few chances, but the Finnish back line was superb and unyielding. As time ran out, German coach Joachim Löw turned to his big guns to deliver the equalizer; Hitzlsperger made way for Mario Gomez in the 68’. The powerful striker made his presence felt early, using his strength to control the ball deep in his attacking area, but ultimately put on a disappointing performance. In the 78’, a cross found Klose, who headed across the face of goal for Gomez, who flung himself at the ball and almost completely missed the ball. Gomez actually went past the ball and into the goal, and defender Petri Pesanen cleared the ball off his goal line. Fortune favored the visitors, with Klose finishing his hat trick on 82’ following a pinball-like series in the penalty area. Piotr Trochowski’s shot was well saved by Jaaskelainen, but the ball took a rebound off Pesanen’s head. Gomez recovered the ball and shot, only to have it blocked by Pesanen. The ball finally fell to Klose’s feet, and the German captain’s shot reached the back of the net. Fully committed to offense, Germany pressed forward for the winner, but to no avail. Westermann and Gomez had good opportunities late, but their close-range headers missed high, leaving the final score at 3-3. FINLAND 3-3 GERMANY 1-0 Johansson 34' 1-1 Klose 38' 2-1 Värynen 44' 2-2 Klose 45 3-2 Sjölund 54' 3-3 Klose 83' Finland: Jaaskelainen; Pasanen, Lampi, Hyypia, Kallio; Eremenko, Värynen (Kuqi 75), Heikkinen; Johansson, Forssell (Sjölund 42), Kolkka. Germany: Enke; Fritz (Hinkel 82), Tasci, Westermann, Lahm; Schweinsteiger, Rolfes (Helmes 82), Hitzlsperger (Mario Gómez 68), Trochowski; Klose, Podolski.


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