Germany salvages draw against Ukraine

updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Germany recovered against Ukraine to come away with a 1-1 draw that puts the three-time champion in a good position to qualify for World Cup 2002. Ukraine has never qualified for the World Cup and was desperate to make home advantage count against Germany who were trying to keep their record going of never having failed to reach the finals of football's most prestigious tournament. The visitors however stunned the three-time champions after just 18 minutes. A deflection off Andrei Shevchenko's free kick found Henadiy Zubov, who blasted home the opening goal. That shock sparked Germany and 12 minutes later the match was all level. Bernd Schneider's free kick somehow found Michael Ballack, who slid in the ball for his fourth international goal. That’s how it remained. The return leg will be played in Germany on Wednesday. In other European matches, Turkey scored an unexpected 1-0 win away to Austria as Okan Buruk came away with the winner in the 60th minute. Belgium also secured a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic at home, captain Gert Verheyen's making full use of some bad defending by the Czech's and smashing the ball into the roof of the net after the 29th minute. Slovenia hosted Romania at home. And it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 26th minute, as Marius Nicolae gave Romania the lead. However in the 41st minute Slovenia levelled the game, Milenko Acimovic with a stunning header. Slovenia secured the win with 20 minutes remaining. Milan Osterc with a superb strike gave his side the 2-1 win. Meanwhile, in the Central American qualifying Mexico beat Honduras 3-0. They are now the 25th team of the total 32 to book their place in the 2002 World Cup.