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The i national side met a united German team for the first time on Wednesday. The European champions won the friendly 1-0 thanks to a goal from Darius Wosz five minutes from full-time, but the background to the match was more interesting than what happened on the pitch in Tel Aviv.

The day before the match, the German squad paid homage to the past with a visit to Yad Vashem, a museum near Jerusalem that documents the Holocaust. The atmosphere the following day inside Ramat Gan Stadium is described in inimitable style by a local journalist, Danny Ben-Tal of Associated Press.

"The German team's visit half a century after the end of World War II released a flood of ambivalent emotions in a country that still shuns the music of Richard Wagner, Hitler's favorite composer, but snaps up German-made cars and washing machines. Some fans heckled during the playing of the German national anthem, while others stood while chewing on watermelon seeds."

On a less surreal note, Tottenham's Ronny Rosenthal had an impressive game up front for .


Arsenal's Patrick Vieira made his international debut for France in Wednesday's friendly against the Netherlands in Paris, and watched his Highbury team- mate Dennis Bergkamp put the Dutch ahead in the third minute. However, two goals in the last 16 minutes from Patrice Loko and Robert Pires, both substitutes, gave France a 2-1 victory.

Rupert Metcalf