Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, 28.07.1999
Preetz 6., Matthäus 33. / –
With Germany in their Sunday League green and white strip and New Zealand wearing Schwarz und Weiß, you really wondered where the real Deutschland had gone. Ribbeck’s team won the game 2-0, but to say the scoreline was flattering would be an understatement.
When Lothar Matthäus struck a sixth-minute free-kick against a post which was turned in by Michael Preetz, one might have fleetingly hoped for a goalfest – but it was not to be. The next twenty-five minutes was as exciting as watching paint dry, the only frisson of excitement being caused when Ivan Vicelich should have done better for the Kiwis when he put his header wide of the target. When Lothar Matthäus rounded the keeper and scored what turned out to be his last international goal after picking up a neat pass from Preetz, that was as good as it got.
The rest of the first half petered out, and the second forty-five minutes offered precious little in the way of action or excitement. It was a scrappy, turgid, fractured affair that at times looked like a Sunday park outing. I had stayed up late to watch this match on ARD, and when it had finished I really did wonder how and why I had managed to waste ninety minutes of my life.
Germany: Lehmann – Wörns, Linke – Matthäus (c) (71. Ballack) – Ricken, Schneider, Scholl (46. Wosz), Heinrich – Neuville, Marschall (65. Rink), Preetz
New Zealand: Batty – Zoricich (78. Perry), Nelsen, Douglas – Atkinson, Jackson (63. Coveny), Wilkinson, Vicelich – Burton (78. Elrick), Lines – Bouckenooghe
Referee: Coffi Bona Venture Codjia (Benin)
Assistants: Peter Kelly (Trinidad & Tobago), Vladimir Bertiaga (Panama)
Yellow Cards: Marschall, Matthäus / –
Red Cards: – / –