A splendid finish by Dean Saunders and a battling rearguard action earned Mike Smith's Wales side a morale-boosting draw in the Rheinstadion, Dsseldorf, last night.
The Aston Villa man silenced the home crowd when he beat the offside trap to give the Welsh a seventh minute lead. Although Borussia Mnchengladbach's Heiko Herrlich volleyed Bertie Vogts' side back on terms before the break, Neville Southall's goal was not to be breached again.
The booing from the home fans at the final whistle summed up a night of frustration for the home side, especially for Jrgen Klinsmann. The Tottenham striker might have had five but was denied by Southall and let down by his own profligate finishing.
Vinnie Jones - booked in the second half - was entitled to his hugs of delight with team-mates at the end as Wales at least partially banished the memories of their nightmare European Championship campaign. After four successive defeats which had left them bottom of Group Seven, Smith's men needed an early boost and Saunders provided it after just seven minutes.
Saunders, who had scored Wales' consolation goal in Bulgaria last month, appeared offside as he raced all alone onto a long ball from Chris Coleman but the flag stayed down. With the defenders retreating desperately, the man sent off in disgrace on his last visit to Germany - in Nuremburg in 1991 - hammered his 16th international goal into the bottom corner of Andreas Kpke's net.
It was a start the Welsh could only have dreamed of but it served only to wake the Germans up, with Neville Southall's goal leading something of a charmed life. But his luck could not last - and it ran out three minutes before the break.
Coleman was still recovering from a collarbone injury when Ralf Weber lofted the ball between the Crystal Palace man and Mark Bowen. Herrlich appeared in the space between the pair to thrash home a low volley for his first goal in international football. Coleman, substituted at half- time, was taken to hospital for an x-ray, which revealed no broken bones.
GERMANY: Kpke (Nuremberg); Reuter (Borussia Dortmund), Weber (Eintracht Frankfurt), Freund (Borussia Dortmund), Babbel, Ziege (Bayern Munich), Eilts (Werder bremen), Basler (Werder Bremen), Klinsmann (Tottenham Hotspur), Hssler (Karlsruhe), Herrlich (Borussia Mnchengladbach). Substitutes: Scholl (Bayern Munich) for Basler, 75; Kuntz (Kaiserslautern) for Ziege, 85.
WALES: Southall (Everton); Phillips (Nottingham Forest), Bowen (Norwich City), Jones (Wimbledon), Symons (Portsmouth), Coleman (Crystal Palace), Horne (Everton), Saunders (Aston Villa), Rush (Liverpool), Hughes (Manchester United), Speed (Leeds United). Substitutes: Williams (Reading) for Coleman, h-t; Hartson (Arsenal) for Hughes, 89.
Referee: J Encinar (Spain).Reuse content