Germany held 0-0 by France in Nations League opener

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Munich, Sep 7 (IANS) Germany and World Cup winners France battled to a 0-0 draw here in the opening UEFA Nations League match for both teams.

Both teams were cautious in the early going in front of 67,000 spectators at Munich’s Allianz Arena on Thursday.

Les Bleus stuck with the defense-first approach that served then so well in Russia a few months ago, while the Germans were anxious to avoid the kind of blunders that led to their crashing out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stage, reports Efe news.

The first shot on goal came in the 16th minute, an effort by Germany’s Timo Werner from inside the box that French keeper Alphonse Areola handled with ease.

At the other end of the pitch, host keeper Manuel Neuer had to be sharp to stop Olivier Giroud’s header in the 34th minute.

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The second half was livelier and French striker Antoine Griezmann created a pair of chances, testing Neuer with a shot from distance in the 64th minute before a German surge in the final 20 minutes that saw Areola make a succession of impressive saves against Marco Reus, Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller.

Areola, who got the nod in Munich only because of injuries to starter Hugo Lloris and backup Steve Mandanda, was the man of the match.

–IANS

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