Enke honoured as Germany draw with Ivory Coast

November 19th, 2009 - 7:45 am ICT by IANS  

Arsenal Gelsenkirchen (Germany), Nov 19 (DPA) Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke was remembered by players from both sides ahead of a friendly football match that Germany drew 2-2 with the Ivory Coast.
Lukas Podolski, who gave Germany a first half lead, scored an injury time equaliser for the Germans Wednesday. Emmanuel Eboue and late substitute Seydou Doumbia scored for the visitors.

The players from both sides, who wore black armbands, paid a tribute before the game to Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke, who committed suicide last week by walking in front of an oncoming train.

After his death it emerged that the 32-year-old, who had only just returned from a lengthy lay-off and not been picked for the squad for this friendly, had been suffering from depression for years.

A minute’s silence was observed before the game and the Ivory Coast players wore T-shirts with ‘In Memoriam Robert Enke’ written on them.

German players, who had earlier in the day published a letter written to Enke after his death, had a jersey with Enke’s name and the number 1 lying on the bench and before play started a short film showing some of Enke’s saves was shown on the giant screen.

Once the game got underway Germany dominated proceedings and justifiably went ahead in the 11th minute with a somewhat dubious penalty after Guy Demel brought down Stefan Kiessling in the area.

Podolski made no mistake from the spot and pointed towards the sky afterwards.

Philipp Lahm nearly gifted Eboue an equaliser just two minutes later when his header back to goalkeeper Tim Wiese was intercepted by the Arsenal defender, but his lob over Wiese’s head hit the crossbar.

German-based Ivorian defender Arthur Boka then prevented his side from falling two goals behind midway through the first half when he cleared a Heiko Westermann header after a Mesut Ozil corner off the line.

A minute before the break, Piotr Trochowski nearly doubled Germany’s lead with a long range effort only to see his shot crash against the upright.

Germany began the second half where they left off the first with Podolski and Kiessling coming close within the opening minutes.

The Africans’ equaliser in the 57th minute was a bizarre goal as Westermann tried a backpass to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had come on at halftime. The Schalke goalkeeper’s clearance struck Eboue in the chest and a diving Neuer could do nothing to stop the ball from crossing the line.

Worse was to follow for Germany as Seydou Doumbia, who was the top scorer in the Swiss league last season, was brought on in the 83rd minute and put his side ahead just two minutes later with a well taken shot from the edge of the area.

More was to follow as Podolski snatched a somewhat lucky equaliser for Germany two minutes into injury time after being set up by Trochowski.

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