Sports

Germany hold France in Nations League

Germany hold France in Nations League
Marco Reus (L) vies with Antoine Griezmann during the UEFA Nations League in Munich, Gremany, on September 6. (Xinhua/Philippe Ruiz)
BERLIN, Sep 6 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 9/7/2018 12:07:21 PM IST

Hosts Germany were held to a goalless draw by 2018 FIFA World Champions France at the opening day of the UEFA Nations League on Thursday, Xinhua reported. A string of saves from France debutant goalkeeper Alphonse Areola denied Germany a victory on home soil in front of 67,458 spectators at Allianz Arena.

The hosts grabbed the reins from the kick off and dominated possession but still they lacked in penetration in the opening period.

As the match progressed, Germany came close through chances from Timo Werner and Mats Hummels. Meanwhile, the visitors defended deep and lurked for counter attack opportunities. France worked out their first chance with 35 minutes into the clash when Olivier Giroud headed on target from promising position. Both sides ensured a lively start into the second half as Antoine Griezmann tested Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer before Werner forced Areola to make a safe at the hour mark. Germany increased the pressure and came to a number of opportunities but France’s custodian Areola defused the efforts from Mats Hummels and Matthias Ginter in the closing period.

With the result, Germany and France start with a share of the spoils into the Nations League Group A1.

“We staged a good performance. However, we should have scored the one or the other goal against the world champions today. I am satisfied but there is still a lot to do,” Germany head coach Joachim Loew said.

“Germany played a powerful second-half. They had their chances and we had ours. The draw against Germany is good for us as we secured one point on the road. I am delighted about the result,” France head coach Didier Deschamps said.

The UEFA Nations League is a new national-team competition, which sees 55 European national teams divided into four leagues. The four group winners of the top-ranked League A qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals in June 2019.

Germany will encounter Peru for an international friendly on Sunday.

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