Both players currently teammates under contract to Bundesliga leaders BAYERN MUNICH in Bavaria, highly-experienced Ukraine midfielder ANATOLI TYMOSHCHUK (4), the 32-year-old making his 112th appearance in the national team shirt of his country, and youthful Germany defender HOLGER BADSTUBER (14) contest the ball during the international friendly at the Olimpiysky National Sports Complex in the capital city of Kiev.
Two goals inside the last half hour completed a noteworthy second half comeback and afforded an experimenting GERMANY a 3-3 draw with their determined host from the UKRAINE in an international friendly match ahead of the 2012 UEFA European Championships final tournament to be staged this summer.
Dynamo Kiev winger ANDRIY YARMOLENKO sent Ukraine to the lead and scored the very first goal at the brand new Olympiysky stadium to conclude a classic counterattack in the 28th minute. The home side, who may very well have profited from the partisan crowd of 69,700 urging them forward, increased their lead just six minutes later when winger YEVHEN KONOPLYANKA of FC Dnipr Dnipropetrovsk received a pass in his own defensive third and then found another gear at midfield. Bursting free, Konoplyanka easily rounded Germany’s debutant goalkeeper RON-ROBERT ZIELER of Hannover 96 to finish a classic breakaway with style and put Ukraine up 2-0.
Bayern Munich midfielder TONI KROOS did connect with a long range shot from outside the box to pull a goal back for Germany just two minutes later; good omen or not will need to be determined, but the youthful Kroos, who has two goals for Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League but none in the domestic Bundesliga this season, has now found the back of the net for Deutschland this fall in international friendlies with both of the two countries scheduled to host Euro 2012 jointly, Poland and the Ukraine.
Watched by international debutant and Hannover 96 goalkeeper RON-ROBERT ZIELER (22) in the background, veteran Ukraine striker and captain ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO (7) of Dynamo Kiev, the aging 35-year-old former goal-shark for AC Milan in Italy’s Serie A who was not anywhere near as successful during his time with London-based FC Chelsea in the English Premier League, looks to chest the ball down in front of Germany defender HOLGER BADSTUBER (14) of Bayern Munich during the international friendly at the Olimpiysky National Sports Complex in Kiev.
Germany were unlucky in the final minute of the first half when legionnaire midfielder SAMI KHEDIRA of Spanish La Liga giant Real Madrid struck the post with a looping header and goalkeeper OLEKSANDR RYBKA of FC Shakhtar Donetsk was able to smother the rebound right on the doorstep; as was the case over the opening forty-five minutes the Ukranians, who are trained by the legendary OLEG BLOKHIN — the 1975 European Footballer of the Year and all-time leader with both 112 caps and 42 goals for the national team of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — were quick to take full advantage and strike back.
31-year-old veteran midfielder SARHIY NAZARENKO of FC Tavriya Simferopol, who ranks third all-time in goal-scoring for the Ukraine, launched a long-range, right-footed rocket in time added on to the first half that appeared to catch Zieler off his line and out of position somewhat while flying into the corner of the net for Nazarenko’s 12th career international goal.
Germany trainer JOACHIM LOEW made two changes at the break and one of those substitutes paid dividends five minutes after the hour. Bayer Leverkusen midfielder SIMON ROLFES roofed a half-struck, volleyed shot off a corner kick by Borussia Dortmund defender MATS HUMMELS at close range to record his second goal ever for Germany and narrow the gap to one. Another pair of players from the bench were sent on by Loew immediately thereafter and this switch proved to be pivotal, as well.
Bayern Munich winger THOMAS MUELLER, who won the Golden Boot as the top scorer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, took a routine ball from SV Hamburg midfielder DENNIS AOGO on the left and cut back inside to the right before firing a bouncing shot which clearly and completely handcuffed the goalkeeper Rykba in the 78th minute. At this level of competition, much better is to be expected of the 24-year-old Ukrainian netminder, who meekly stabbed at the far-from-irresistable shot from outside the area with his left leg. Mueller’s ninth career goal, then, for Germany, who have won twelve while losing just once in 18 international matches since defeating Uruguay to claim 3rd place at the last World Cup.
Goalkeeper RON-ROBERT ZIELER of Hannover 96, the 22-year-old former Manchester United reserve who still has less than one full season’s worth of Bundesliga games under his belt, had a rough beginning with three goals conceded in the first 45 minutes of his international career but did rebound to make a fabulous save from lethal skipper Andriy Shevchenko, who has scored 46 goals on 104 appearances for the Ukraine, just after the break which would have left Germany a 4-1 hole from which to recover at the Olimpiysky National Sports Complex in the capital city of Kiev.
goal – Ron Robert ZIELER (Hannover 96 / 1 cap)
defense – Jerome BOATENG (Bayern Munich / 18 caps, 0 go), Mats HUMMELS (Borussia Dortmund / 11 caps, 0 go), Holger BADSTUBER (Bayern Munich / 17 caps, 1 go)
def mf – Christian TRAESCH (Vfl Wolfsburg / 10 caps, 0 go), Sami KHEDIRA (Real Madrid – Spa / 23 caps, 1 go), Toni KROOS (Bayern Munich / 23 caps, 2 go), Dennis AOGO (SV Hamburg / 8 cap, 0 go)
att mf – Mesut OEZIL (Real Madrid – Spa / 29 caps, 7 go), Mario GOETZE (Borussia Dortmund / 11 caps, 2 go)
attack – Mario GOMEZ (Bayern Munich / 50 caps, 21 go)
mf – Andre SCHUERRLE (Bayer Leverkusen / 11 caps, 6 go)
for Trasesch – 46th min
mf – Simon ROLFES (Bayer Leverkusen / 25 caps, 2 go)
for – Khedira – 46th min
mf – Lukas PODOLSKI (1.FC Koeln / 94 caps, 43 go)
for Oezil – 66th min
mf – Thomas MUELLER (Bayern Munich / 24 caps, 9 go)
for Goetze – 66th min
fw – CACAU (Vfb Stuttgart / 21 caps, 5 go)
for Gomez – 83rd min
mf – Lars BENDER (Bayer Leverkusen / 2 caps, 0 go)
for Kroos – 87th min