score football magazine
Euro 2004

euro 2004

Saturday June 19th

Little Latvia hold Völler's Men

In a match with very few chances, Latvia earned their first point of the competition. Germany had 2 shots by Ballack and Kuranyi on target in the 33rd minute, but Kolinko was equal to both. The best chance fell to Latvia when Verpakovskis sprinted into the box but couldn't beat Oliver Kahn. Ballack's free kick in the 64th minute was punched away by the Latvian keeper, and 2 minutes later Bobic failed to connect to a Kuranyi shot that went across the face of goal. Kahn had to get down to intercept a low cross in the 80th minute, and when Klose's diving header in the dying seconds missed the target, a goalless draw became reality.

Czechs Bounce Back

The Czech Republic came from Behind to beat the Netherlands 3-2 in an entertaining and exciting match. The Dutch got off to a flying start when Bouma got on the end of a free kick from the right, to head the ball into the net. In the 19th minute, van Nistelrooy who was clearly offside when the ball was played to Robben, received the ball from him to double the Dutch lead. Four minutes later Baros ran into the area, held off 2 defenders and passed the ball to Koller who reduced the deficit. In the 32nd minute Heitinga unleashed a shot from outside the area, which Cech got his fingertips to, and Seedorf's powerful shot 2 minutes later was just wide. Davids struck the inside of the post with 2 minutes of the first half remaining. Van der Sar got down well to save a volley from Nedved in the 52nd minute, and Ceh had to make a point blank save when a perfect Robbin cross found the head of van Nistelrooy in the 56th minute. Six minutes later it was van der Sar who had to make a save when good dribbling in the box by Heinz, gave Smicer the opportunity to shoot at goal. With 20 minutes left Koller chested the ball into the path of Baros who smashed the ball passed van der Sar. A minute later van der Meyde had an excellent chance to score, but was denied by the foot of Ceh. The Netherlands played the last 15 minutes of the match with 10 men, when Heitinga was somewhat harshly sent off for a second yellow card. A minute later van der Sar couldn't hold on to a Nedved free kick, but substitute Rozehnal failed to beat the keeper from the rebound. In the 85th minute Nedved's long-range shot beat van der Sar, but came back off the bar. With 2 minutes to go Nedved struck again. Van der Sar did well to keep his effort out, but Poborsky took advantage of the rebound, and coolly passed the ball to Smicer who finished the job and gave the Czechs 3 well-earned points in an exhilarating match.

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