Marin Magic Seals German Win

Germany 2-0 Belgium

A moment of magic from substitute Marko Marin lit up this friendly as Germany ran out 2-0 winners. Belgium provided a tough defensive unit to break down, but a penalty from Schweinsteiger and a superb strike from Marin saw the home side to a first win of the season.

Joachim Löw brought in Heiko Westermann for the injured Per Mertesacker, while also handing a debut start to Stuttgart’s Serdar Tasci. Up front he chose to pair Bayern duo Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski.

Robert Enke got the nod in goal with Simon Rolfes and Thomas Hitzlsperger taking the Frings/ Ballack roles in midfield.

Belgian trainer Rene Vandereycken had Bundesliga duo Daniel van Buyten and Filip Daems in his line-up, while experienced pair Wesley Sonck and Bart Goor were also in the starting XI.

First Half

The match kicked off in ideal conditions inside a lively, but far from sold-out easyCredit Stadion in Nürnberg and Germany quickly settled to their task. With just two minutes on the clock, Piotr Trochowski let fly with an effort which forced Stijn Stijnen into a parry.

Two minutes later and Philipp Lahm bombed down the left before cutting the ball back to Bayern team mate Podolski, whose shot only found the side netting.

The first ten minutes witnessed Germany making the running and pushing the Belgians back into their own half, but with two banks of four the visitors were making life difficult for the hosts.

The first Belgian effort of note came on 12 minutes when defender Daniel van Buyten slammed a free kick into the German wall after Westermann had fouled de Sutter on the edge of the box. A moment of controversy then followed a minute later with keeper Stijnen rather lucky not to see a red card.

Hitzlsperger played through a great ball into the run of Lukas Podolski, who tried to lift the ball over the out rushing goalkeeper. The ball went wide, but the German striker was subsequently completely taken out by Stijnen with a kung-fu type kick to the ribs that left stud marks scratched down his chest. Referee Vejlgaard from Denmark however saw nothing in it.

With 16 minutes gone Stijnen made a superb save from Klose to partially redeem himself from his earlier attack on Podolski. Hitzlsperger again played the ball through, this time to Klose, who took the ball down inside the area with an excellent touch and his shot was pushed over the bar by the FC Bruges keeper with a reflex save.

Three minutes later however and it was Belgium who were rueing not taking the lead. Witsel left Lahm standing and marched to the bye-line where he cut the ball across to the waiting de Sutter. The striker’s deft touch however had Enke beaten but not the angle and it went narrowly wide.

The early action continued on 22 minutes when Schweinsteiger flashed a wild effort high and wide after a super Trochowski cross from the left had found him at the far post.

The visitors then had possibly the best chance of the first half just before the half hour mark as they were finding their way into the game more. Bart Goor sent over a ball from the left, which found Wesley Sonck at the far post. With the goal at his mercy, he failed to direct his header and struck the outside of the base of the post.

Despite starting the brighter of the two sides, Germany then struggled to find a way through a compact Belgian defence that often had 11 men behind the ball.

Second Half

Jogi Löw reacted at the start of the second half by changing the front pairing of Klose and Podolski and bringing on Mario Gomez and Kevin Kuranyi. Belgium also made a change switching van Damme for de Sutter.

Keeper Stijnen was called upon to come rushing out of his goal once again four minutes after the restart when an arrowed pass looked to pick out Kuranyi. This time he was first to the ball and Kuranyi was unharmed.

On 52 minutes Lahm very nearly produced a carbon-copy of his goal from the 2006 World Cup as he advanced on goal before trying to curl a shot into the top corner of the goal. Stijnen however got a good hand to the ball and turned it away for a corner.

The Germans had once again stated the second half in a lively manner and were denied a penalty on 54 minutes. Substitute Jelle van Damme clearly knocked away a Trochowski cross from the head of Gomez with his elbow. An unsighted referee however kept his whistle away from his lips.

Having got away with a clear penalty decision, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot on 59 minutes after Daniel van Buyten had his hands all over Mario Gomez as the Stuttgart striker looked to latch onto a through ball. Bastian Schweinsteiger stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way to secure his 16th international goal.

Germany then stepped up the pressure and it was one-way traffic although they were still finding it difficult to make the final ball find the man. It took Belgium half an hour to have a shot worth mentioning a Bart Goor fired it just over the bar from 23 meters.

With the tempo of the game slowing, second half substitute Marko Marin stepped up with a moment of magic to announce his arrival on the international stage. A superb one-two with Philipp Lahm saw the Mönchengladbach winger receive the ball, cut inside van Buyten, before curling in a shot into the right hand corner.

It was a Messi-like run and finish from the youngster, who surely has a bright international future ahead of him.

With four minutes left, Schweinsteiger sent in a dangerous free kick from the left, which missed both Gomez and Kuranyi in the centre.


1-0 Schweinsteiger (59 pen)

2-0 Marin (77)

Germany: Enke, Lahm (Jansen 82), Tasci, Westermann, Fritz, Rolfes, Hitzlsperger (Marin 70), Schweinsteiger, Trochowski (Helmes 79), Podolski (Gomez 46), Klose (Kuranyi 46)

Belgium: Stijnen, Swerts (Hoefkens 89), van Buyten, Simons, Daems, Witsel (Gillet 65), Mudingayi (de Man 87), Defour (Buffel 60), Goor, Sonck, de Sutter (van Damme 46)

Yellow cards:

van Buyten (59), van Damme (65)

59′ [1 - 0] B. Schweinsteiger (pen.)

77′ [2 - 0] M. Marin

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Marin Magic Seals German Win Reviewed by admin Ucop on 1:36 AM Rating: 5

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