Germany 0 Wales 0: Toshack's men survive Klose encounter to hold Germany

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The Independent Online

Wales put a dampener on Germany's qualifying party here last night with a valiant defensive display by their injury-depleted ranks.

It was a small crumb of comfort to take from a disappointing campaign and it left the hosts to settle for second spot in Group D behind the Czech Republic who earlier won 2-0 in Cyprus. The Wales manager, John Toshack, was able to recall Sam Ricketts from suspension, while Lewin Nyatanga, Carl Fletcher and Robert Earnshaw all played after recovering from injury and illness.

With Germany having already qualified, there was a buoyant atmosphere and the hosts got off to a bright start. Clemens Fritz and Tim Borowski exchanged quick, accurate passes, with the latter hitting the foot of the post from 18 yards.

Germany were happy to break quickly, resulting in a Philipp Lahm cross being headed inches wide by Mario Gomez. Wales' response was an 18-yard drive from Fletcher that flew just wide and at half-time boos rained down from the unimpressed revellers. The announcement of England's problems at Wembley at least produced a cheer.

The deadlock was almost broken when Wayne Hennessey missed a long cross and Simon Rolfes' header was cleared from a gaping net by James Collins. Miroslav Klose then headed just wide as Germany piled forward – a free-kick on the edge of the box caused Wales some consternation but it was wasted.

Germany (4-4-2): Lehmann; Castro (Hilbert, 55), Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm; Fritz, Borowski, Hitzlsperger (Rolfes, h-t), Podolski; Gomez (Neuville, 70), Klose.

Wales (4-5-1): Hennessey; Ricketts, Gabbidon, Collins, Nyatanga; Gunter, Fletcher, S Davies, Edwards (Crofts, 90), Ledley; Earnshaw (Easter, 55).

Referee: P Balaj (Romania).

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