Spaniards held in opener
Germans frustrate favourites
Last Updated: June 15, 2009 10:47pm
Spain and Germany could not be seperated
Pre-tournament favourites Spain were held to a goalless draw by Germany in their European Under 21 Championship opener.
Juan Roman Lopez Caro has a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal, but saw his side fire blanks in Gothenburg.
That, though, had as much to do with an impressive performance from their opponents as it did their own failings in front of goal.
The Germans started much the brighter, with Mesut Ozil proving to be a menace up front.
Bojan Krkic, the man charged with making Spain tick, was also causing problems at the other the end, but the final ball was lacking from both teams.
The game did open up as the first half drew on and only a smart stop from Manuel Neuer prevented Jose Manuel Chico from breaking the deadlock.
Marc Torrejon also went close for Spain as he crashed a header off the face of the crossbar, while Marko Marin came within a whisker of firing the Germans in front on the stroke of half-time when he drilled a low effort off the outside of the post.
Those hoping the game would open up after the break were to be disappointed, though, as the second period proved to be as keenly-fought as the first.
It was Germany that came closest to forcing the elusive breakthrough, with Ozil bringing the best out of Spanish shot-stopper Andres Sergio Asenjo on two occasions.
The Werder Bremen playmaker skipped round the keeper on the hour-mark, only to see his resulting effort flicked miraculously over the bar by Asenjo's foot, before the Real Valladolid ace later spread himself bravely to smother a one-on-one opportunity.
With England and Finland still to come, both teams will be disappointed not to have taken maximum points from their opening contest, but will feel that they have done enough to suggest they will trouble the scorers in their upcoming contests.
European Under-21 Championship Group A
European Under-21 Championship Group B