- Title: GERMANY: SOCCER / FOOTBALL - Argentina and Dutch in Frankfurt stalemate
- Date: 21st June 2006
- Summary: WIDE VIEW OF FANS WALKING AWAY AFTER MATCH
- Embargoed: 6th July 2006 13:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAAS4JQ9YU8GWJSDSIX0U4M7UJ9
- Story Text: Fans of Argentina and Netherlands queued to get into their World Cup Group C match on Wednesday (June 21), but those wearing clothing with company logos were forced to remove it before entering the stadium.
The scoreboard for one of the most highly-anticiapted matches of the tournaments also remained bare throughout the match.
Argentina and Netherlands cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw in Frankfurt.
A tight, tactical battle only sprung to life on isolated occasions, mainly when Argentina threatened to score, having created the more chances.
After the two finalists from 1978 had weighed each other up for the opening quarter of an hour, the first shot on target came from the Dutch.
An error by right back Nicolas Burdisso let in winger Dirk Kuijt, who forced a leaping save from goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri with the unmarked Rafael van der Vaart screaming for a pass in the middle.
Minutes later Argentina strung together a long passing movement which ended with Carlos Tevez shooting narrowly wide of Edwin van der Sar's right-hand post.
The keeper, equalling the Dutch caps record of 112 held by Frank de Boer, had to act sharply to turn over Juan Roman Riquelme's inswinging corner.
Tevez then chased a low Riquelme free kick to the near post, forcing a quick intervention from defender Khalid Boulahrouz whose attempted clearance came back off the post.
With Argentina being forced back in the latter stages of the first half, Maxi Rodriguez had a shot from outside the box that shaved the diving Van der Sar's right-hand post.
Argentina's teenage winger Lionel Messi, in his first start in the finals, was restricted by close marking although he got in a shot in first-half stoppage time that went straight to Van der Sar.
Messi tried to spark the attack immediately after the interval but continued to be well shackled by the defence.
Tevez, with Riquelme prompting from midfield, provided the danger and brought a diving save from Van der Sar in the 73rd minute.
Rodriguez had another attempt at a long-range shot while Tevez shot over near the end.
But fans from both sides seemed pleased with the result.
"I think it was, everybody played very well. At first I thought maybe the two games - I mean the two teams - are going to play very, they just don't have to win. But it was really exciting. I really liked it," said Dutch fan Jors Merdin.
"I was delighted. We played well, but we did not have many opportunities. We had Tevez -- were favourites -- Messi, the lot. But that's football," Argentina fan Jorge Zamarano said.
Midfielder Philip Cocu made his 100th appearance for Netherlands.
Twice former champions Argentina finished top on goal difference and will meet Mexico in Leipzig in the second round on Saturday (June 24). The Dutch, who also collected seven points, face Portugal in Nuremberg the day after.
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