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November 14, 2012
• Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
Referee: Pedro Proença
• Attendance: 51000
I tip my caps to thoe absolute heroes among you who somehow stuck by in this match when other, more entertaining matches were going on elsewhere. Legends, the lot of you. Stick around on Goal.com for coaches and players from either sides trying to defend and excuse that match. It'll be entertaining to see how they spin that 90 minutes into something positive, that's for sure!
Final whistle and plenty of whistles ring around the Amsterdam ArenA, not at all surprising. There are many, many, many ways to describe this clash, but they're sadly all very negative. Normally at this point I sum up the chances in the half or the match but is there any point? Both teams showed a lack of desire to attack and, as a result, the game was one of those perfect examples of why international friendlies are pointless. Am I being too harsh? Probably. But that really was a shocker.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Reus makes way after that miss, for Julian Draxler. Was there really any point in bringing the boy on Low?!?!?!
90' + 1'
Reus sprints into the Germany 18-yard box but his finish is woeful, slicing wide and over from about eight yards.
One minute to go. The only way this game can be salvaged as worth watching is if somebody scores an over head kick from 30 yards. Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored against England tonight. Yep, you read that right. From 30 flipping yards! We were clearly all following the wrong match tonight!
Roman Neustadter comes on for Lewis Holtby. The Schalke star - who is another player making his debut tonight - has a couple of minutes to make an impact. I guess the players making their debut are the only ones who will remember this game in five years' time!
Elia isn't pleased to have given away a goal kick - he wants a corner. It looked like the ball went over the line after the Dutch winger's touch, so he should probably pipe down his pleas.
Die Mannschaft's travelling fans can take a modicum of superiority away from this clash I guess, but it's hardly like they stole the show or anything. If this was a show, you would not pay good money to watch it again. Ever.
Germany take about 20 seconds to properly clear a semi-dangerous corner, but clear it they do.
The Bender brothers! No, it's not the name of a slightly quirky television show, it's the two Germany midfielders who are swapping with eight minutes left. Lars Bender, the Bayer Leverkusen star, makes way for Sven Bender, the Borussia Dortmund player.
This is one of the few games in which I would understand fans leaving early to beat the traffic rush. But don't you dare go anywhere, you lovely lot! A late goal or two is definitely, definitely (hopefully, please, please, please, hopefully) on the cards...
Elia splices a shot wide. High, wide and threatening to clear the roof of the stadium! (I'm exaggerating, in fact, I should really be praising the sudden surge in shots compared to what we have been 'treated' to tonight!)
One of the key components to being a world-class goalkeeper in a world-class team is being able to pull off super saves despite not having done anything all match. Hence, why I rate Neuer so highly I suppose!
Super, super save from Neuer! Janmaat does a super one-two with Netherlands captain Dirk Kuyt, and his shot from 15 yards inside a crammed German area has to be tipped wide by the Bayern Munich shot-stopper.
No... No we won't. AC Milan attacker Emanuelson brings the Amsterdam ArenA roaring into life for a second with a pacey counterattack, but he's tackled about 45 yards from goal and the supporters' excitement dissipates.
Germany win a corner!!! Will we see a goal???
Rafael van der Vaart
Urby Emanuelson comes on for Van der Vaart, who ends his 103rd cap to polite applause. Van Gaal's opposite number, Low, brings on Lukas Podolski for Gotze.
Is that a Germany substitute I see? It might just be... Vermeer leaps forwards to prevent Reus from latching onto a high and not-that-handsome through ball.
Mertesacker, you flexible feline, you! The Arsenal defender does an acrobatic clearance on the edge of the penalty area after Elia's dangerous whipped cross threatens to wake half the home fans in this stadium from their boredom-induced slumber!
BMI gives possession away on the left, and Germany attack. But Die Mannschaft struggle to formulate a viable attack and Holtby accidentally passes the ball to Vermeer after predicting Gotze's run wrongly.
De Jong somehow escaped a yellow card moments ago for a poor tackle on Howedes. If this was a competitive clash he almost certainly would have been booked by now!
Howedes rises unchallenged inside the Dutch box to head marginally wide of the Netherlands right post. Very close from the Germany defender to breaking the deadlock.
This is one of those games where one fan yawning could set the whole crowd off. But, let's not be too negative, the first half did have bursts of entertainment. Fingers crossed we get some more bursts...
Marco van Ginkel, a 19-year-old Vitesse midfielder, has been brought on after Afellay hobbles off with half an hour left. Bad news for the Schalke midfielder but great news for the Dutch debutant!
Marco van Ginkel
Gotze, by the way, has been unsurprisingly brilliant tonight. He's dictated the German attacks in a way that a 20-year-old probably shouldn't in an international clash.
Lahm gets led into a blind alley and a free kick is conceded by Gotze after the defender loses the ball 30 yards from the Netherlands goal.
Afellay shoots...but it's just a pea-dribble of a shot, sadly for us neutrals. This game is crying out for a goal. As are the thousands of people inside the Amsterdam ArenA, I expect!
Holtby performs one of the few precision passes we have seen tonight, penetrating the inexperienced Dutch defence with a probing diagonal ball into Reus' feet, but the ball dribbles out for a goal kick after a heavy first touch.
20-year-old substitute Janmaat concedes a free kick with an overly eager tackle deep in German territory.
One Dutchman who has been relatively impressing this evening is Afellay, who has controlled the ball delicately every time he has possession and created a couple of chances when he has had the opportunity too.
Van der Vaart hasn't been very impressive this evening. The again, I haven't seen him be impressive any more than intermittently for the past 12 months really.
I take that back! Elia has won a corner having sprinted down the left flank and had his looping-looking cross blocked behind.
The Dutch are trying to edge themselves forwards and be less pegged back early on, and keeping the Germans from entering their final third is so far succeeding. However, they're not able to enter the visitors' final third either just yet.
No changes from Joachim Low by the way - clearly he's happy with his team for the moment! Robben, by the way, was presumably brought off as a precaution because he has only just returned from injury for his club Bayern Munich.
Three subs were brought on at half-time: Daryl Janmaat on for Van Rhijn at right-back, Stefan de Vrij on for centre-back John Heitinga and Eljero Elia on for winger Robben.
Ricardo van Rhijn
Stefan de Vrij
Ze Germans get the game back under way!
Not long until half-time ends and the game restarts. Trying to contain my...excitement. Come on gaming gods, GIVE US GOALS!
Half-time! Tiny pockets of entertainment in what has been a typically lifeless friendly. The end of the first half gave us a tantalising hint at what might be in the second half. Maybe. Hopefully.
45' + 1'
Gundogan strikes in the last minute of stoppage time...OH, OFF THE LINE! Great, pacey attacking from the visitors that leads to the Dortmund midfielder's shooting from 15 yards, but Heitinga blocks the shot just in front of the frame of the goal.
Schaken is hustled out of play for a Germany goal kick by their (supposed) most forward-positioned player, Reus!
Germany's plan seems based on intricate passing and momentary bursts of attacking prowess from their incredibly-talented forwards. The Dutch's plan is much more counterattacking based, but having speedy attackers definitely lends to that tactical prospect.
Muller does brilliantly at one end but the Germans cannot orchestrate a proper chance, and the home side sprint clear of their own area with haste.
Reus smashes a shot against the side netting! The German attacker takes a first-time swing at the ball from 25 yards, with fizzes inches away from the outside of the left lump of woodwork. Some of the Germany fans thought that one was in, which brought cheers from the home fans when they realised the net bustling didn't equate to a goal!
Loving the orange ties than the Oranje coaching staff are all wearing on the touchline. I adore that the Dutch have essentially adopted the colour as their national symbol! I guess nobody else wanted it though...
Germany midfielder Lars Bender is down injured momentarily it seems, but he looks okay to play on.
Nigel de Jong - hello! The AC Milan midfielder clatters into the back of Reus, conceding a free kick 45 yards out despite winning the ball with the tackle as he took a fair bit of the man.
Reus is clever and Afellay is clumsy as the former wins a tackle with a twist, causing the latter player to concede a foul.
Replays hinting that Robben was just offside from that through ball - probably karma that he missed that effort then!
Superb dribbling and superb through ball but the Dutch remain level! Afellay wiggles through the middle and slips Robben through on goal, the winger nipping it past Neuer to the keeper's right but then stumbling on his shot and kicking it against his standing leg as Benedikt Howedes slides to block any shot.
BMI is apparently young Netherlands full-back Bruno Martins Indi's nickname. I might just adopt that - saves me a few seconds of typing time!
Germany have another goalscoring chance! Gundogan's great ball down the right triggers in motion an attack which ends in Lewis Holtby being denied a goal by a Dutch defender's body, as his shot careers towards target from 10 yards.
Vermeer is putting in a confident performance so far this evening between the Dutch goalposts, and has just sprinted off his line to catch an outswinging free kick from Marco Reus on the right flank.
I've said about the Dortmund players, but what of the Bayern Munich players on the pitch tonight? Well the hosts have Robben, while Germany have left-back skipper Philipp Lahm, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and multi-talented attacker Thomas Muller.
Could those chances spark life into this match? Or was that just an entertaining blip in an otherwise dull game? Please, please, PLEASE be the former!
Three shots in two minutes - lads and lasses, they're spoiling us now, aren't they?! Mario Gotze gets given the ball a mere five yards from goal but Vermeer, who is stood right in front of the Germany attack when he turns his body towards goal, blocks the first shot and John Heitinga blocks the second attempt.
A shot!!! We have a shot!!! It's on target and everything!!! Schaken slides the ball from the right inside the box diagonally along the floor for Robben to fire off-balance at Manuel Neuer's feet. Exciting times indeed.
Ricardo van Rhijn give away a free kick for being offside. Poor positioning on the right flank by the full-back.
Hilarious dive from Arjen Robben, but it works! The Dutch winger loses the ball, and flails to the floor theatrically. Per Mertesacker looks as baffled as the rest of us when the referee blows his whistle for a foul!
My colleague has just said at this rate that the Dutch might get a clean sheet tonight. I sense false enthusiasm, but I fear he may be correct if Germany continue to show a lack of desire to break into the final third...
Louis van Gaal watches on at the side of the pitch. His side have been marginally second-fiddle so far this evening, but it's hardly like Germany have had an actual chance!
Reigning Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund have a fair few players permeating this squad in the absence of many big names. Centre-back Mats Hummels, defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, attacking midfielder Mario Gotze and all-round ridiculously good forward Marco Reus!
Shall we have a stat attack while the teams fumble the ball about tentatively at the Amsterdam ArenA? In this fixture, the Germans have a historical advantage, having won 15 of these ties, while the Dutch have triumphed in 10 and there has been 14 draws.
A cagey opening with a sapped tempo is the best way to despite these opening 10 minutes. Are Germany suffering from a hangover due to conceding four goals in their last match against Sweden, when they were 4-0 up with 28 minutes left and threw it the win away, having to settle for a draw?
A few niggling fouls, but nothing malicious. Not like so many Dutch-German clashes in the past!
The Germans are dominating possession early on. Netherlands happy to let the visitors pass it between defenders and defensive midfielders.
Vermeer has to sprint out to pounce after Reus breaks through the offside trap. The Dutch keeper smothers the ball before the German attacker can get a shot away with his second touch, after his first was a tad too heavy.
No Robin van Persie, no Wesley Sneijder, no Bastian Schweinsteiger, no Miroslav Klose, no Mario Gomez...you can make a damn good attacking line-up with the players that are missing through injury tonight!
Ibrahim Afellay wins an early corner after his cross from the right is blocked. Rafael van der Vaart's inswinging cross is swiftly cleared by Die Mannschaft, however.
Kick-off at the Amsterdam ArenA! Netherlands get us started, going from left to right!
Bruno Martins Indi, at left-back for Netherlands, is one to watch. We had a feature on him this morning and how he might just be the best Dutch defender since Jaap Stam! One to track down at half-time or while waiting for match updates perhaps.
Wondering why this game hasn't got under way? A slight delay in the start, but the players have shaken hands so we're not far away from starting...finally!
The Dutch haven't won in more than a decade against the Germans. Will tonight be the end of that stat? We're just seconds away from kick-off...
Die Mannschaft aren't without their share of surprises either! Marco Reus starts up front on his own, effectively translating as Germany adopting Barcelona's formation fluidity but with an emphasis on counterattacking football. Mesut Ozil's absence raises more eyebrows as the last game he did not start for Joachim Low was in October 2011 - 17 games ago.
So, the big talking point in the Dutch starting XI is Tim Krul being seemingly dropped as first-choice goalkeeper for uncapped Ajax shot-stopper Kenneth Vermeer! Up front, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar misses out to veteran Oranje forwards Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt, while Feyenoord attacker Ruben Schaken also gets the nod.
Germany: Neuer; Howedes, Mertesacker, Hummels, Lahm; Lars Bender, Gundogan; Muller, Gotze, Holtby; Reus.
Netherlands: Vermeer; Van Rhijn, Heitinga, Vlaar, Martins; De Jong, Van der Vaart, Afellay; Schaken, Kuyt, Robben.
Time to share with you the team news! One or two interesting surprises in store actually...
Whoo said international friendlies are all actually friendly?! Hello and welcome to Netherlands v Germany - one of the fiercest national rivalries in the world. I'm Miles Chambers and I'll be detailing what happens in this mouth-watering match. Yes, mouth-watering! Just because there's nothing riding on the match, doesn't mean we won't be in for a cracker!
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