It was the first significant spat at this year's finals; law enforcement officials in Dortmund were forced to detain 300 people following clashes before the Group A match between host Germany and its
Polish neighbors. Police tried to move fans out of the center of the city, but German fans responded by throwing bottles, chairs, and fireworks at them. Police said 120 of the 300 detainees were known
hooligans, including around 60 Polish fanssome of whom were said to be carrying potentially dangerous items. The Germany-Poland match had been singled out by organizers as a potential security risk
because of the neighboring countries' tenuous history; tens of thousands of fans from both countries came to Dortmund to watch the teams play. The heavy support from both teams made for a cracking
atmosphere inside the stadium, which was reflected by the tireless pace of the game. Reuters reported that the atmosphere in Dortmund was friendly at the start but turned ugly as a group of German
skinheads drinking in the city center "began to behave threateningly." Dortmund's police chief said he was surprised by "the sheer number of fans who showed themselves ready to turn aggressive."
Despite the violence, nothing could spoil the joy of Oliver Neuville's last minute winner. The hosts were the first team to qualify for the second round, but they will have to beat Ecuador if they
want to finish top of the groupand possibly avoid clashing early with Englandafter the Ecuadorians took first place today by easily brushing aside Costa Rica 3-0.
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