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Die Mannschaft have looked more dangerous despite being out-played.

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Spain dominated an absorbing first-half chess match, but failed to break the deadlock against a Germany side who had their fair share of chances.

Both teams made one change from their regular line-up: Piotr Trochowski replaced the suspended Thomas Mueller for the Germans while out-of-form Fernando Torres was dropped in favour of Pedro Rodriguez in the Spanish side.

Germany kicked off but immediately and happily surrendered possession as they invited Spain to attack. The cagey opening was halted by an intruder streaking onto the pitch but it was the European champions who carved out the first real chance of the game on six minutes.

Pedro slipped in a sublime through ball to David Villa, who just managed to get a touch to it but it wasn’t enough to trouble an alert Manuel Neuer.

La Furia Roja continued to camp out inside the German half as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Oezil provided glimpses of threat on the counter-attack for Die Mannschaft. But it was the Spaniards again who had the next chance after 13 minutes. From a short corner, Andres Iniesta drilled in a cross from the right flank and Carles Puyol stooped low to send a bullet header just over the bar.

Straight to the other end, an Oezil corner forced Iker Casillas to flap the ball nervously away as Joachim Loew’s side started to enjoy a bit more of composure and possession on the ball. Spain regained control as quickly as they gave it away, although they failed to create any meaningful goalscoring chances.

In fact, the next opportunity didn’t arrive until the half-hour mark and even then, Xabi Alonso’s 25-yard screamer flew wide of Neuer’s left post. Trochowski then showed how it was done when his left-footed pliedriver from a similar distance forced Casillas to make a brilliant sprawling save.

Oezil managed to create more panic in the Spain box when he shimmed past two defenders but hesitated when he prepared to pull the trigger as Puyol pinched the ball off him. Vicente del Bosque’s troops finished the half the stronger with Sergio Ramos, Iniesta and Pedro creating openings, but it was Oezil who had a penalty shout turned down after a challenge with Ramos.

 

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