Germany 2, United States 0
PARIS (AP) _ It was all talk, little action.
For weeks, U.S. soccer players said they were out to earn the respect of the European soccer world. When it came time to produce against Germany in their World Cup opener Monday night, the Americans fell flat, generating almost no offense and showing they have a long way to go.
Germany, a three-time world champion that has dominated European soccer for a quarter century, a came away with a 2-0 victory, going ahead when Andreas Moeller scored off a corner kick in the ninth minute and dominating for the entire first half.
The United States failed on its one good chance to tie early in the second half, gave up a goal to Juergen Klinsmann and now must get at least a win and a tie against Iran and Yugoslavia to advance past the first round.
Frankie Hejduk, a self-proclaimed ``surfer dude″ from Cardiff, Calif., produced the only electric moment for the Americans, nearly tying the score seven minutes into the second half.
David Regis, a former Frenchman who became a U.S. citizen last month, sent a cross to Hejduk, whose shot was headed for just inside the right post. Goalkeeper Andreas Koepke dived to his right, getting his hand on it, and Claudio Rein’s shot off the rebound went off Kopeck’s knees.
It was eerily quiet crowd for much of the game, in sharp contrast to the boisterous crowds the Americans played before at the , the Rose Bowl and Stanford Stadium during the ’94 tournament.
Sam’s Army, a group of several hundred American fans that follows the team, chanted ``USA″ from the upper deck of Arc Des Princes’ north end, but that group was far outnumbered by several thousand German supporters chanting ``!″ at the South end. The French were mostly silent.
U.S. players were as flat as the crowd in the first half, looking nervous and losing most headers and 50-50 balls. Forward Eric Wynalda, who had predicted a big game for himself, didn’t have one good chance and Germany largely shut down Reyna, the top U.S. .
Hejduk and Tab Ramous, who entered in the 70th minute, sparked the offense in the second half, but the chances weren’t finished and the United States was blanked for the third straight time in the World Cup since upsetting Colombia 2-1 in the first round four years ago.
The Americans didn’t get their first hard shot until the 30th minute, when Chad Daring’s curving was easily grabbed by Koepke.
Germany’s early goal came after Olaf Thon sent a long corner to the far side of the penalty area and Klinsmann, standing between Regis and Ernie Stewart, outlawed both, sending the ball in front of the net. Moeller then Thomas Dooley and beat Kasey Keller to the near side.
Dooley was in the center of the second goal, too. Regis’ clearing pass was blocked by Jens Jeremies, and Dooley was turned around on Oliver cross, leaving Klinsmann wide open with nearly the entire net to shoot at.
Notes: Germany is 3-0 against the United States, also winning a pair of exhibition games in 1993. ... When the teams last played, at Stanford Stadium on Dec. 18, 1993, Moeller scored the first goal on a header in Germany’s 3-0 win. ... The Americans are just 10-30-5 in Europe against European opponents and have been outscored 125-42.