World Champions Germany Edge Past Australia
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 14:29
With an average age of just 24 years and four months, and a combined total of 179 worldwide appearances, Germany have the youngest squad among the eight Confed Cup teams.
On the back of his breakthrough season with RB Leipzig, striker Timo Werner, 21, expects a fiery start in Sochi for the untested, green Germans. And this after a first half that saw the defending world champions - OK, let's rephrase for accuracy: Shkodran Mustafi, Julian Draxler and nine other guys - pummel the Socceroos at will. "We're fit enough and strong enough to do it again", he said.
"Chile will be a different game, they play with a lot of intensity and we will need to play well over 90 minutes, not just over 60".
The players who made the journey are eager to prove themselves ahead of next year's World Cup.
"Every player wants to take a step further by showing his quality and leaving a good impression so that he may be involved in future tournaments", said the 28-year-old Stindl of Borussia Moenchengladbach "Then you must go on to show some good progress in your club team".
Low promised to change up his tactics and teams through the tournament, which Germany regards as preparation for their World Cup defence in 2018.
"They know they have to produce. We have done really well for the time we had together", said Loew.
For now it's all about the Confederations Cup, which features the World Cup holders, six regional national team champions and host Russian Federation.
"I'm proud of the boys", he said.
"In general there were very good approaches and I'm very happy".
With the likes of key midfielders Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos rested, the pressure falls on 23-year-old captain Draxler.
With 30 caps, the Paris St-Germain star has the most experience and is expected to lead by example in the attacking midfield role.
Yet the next Leno gaffe gave Australia another goal and a route back into the contest before the hour mark.
Australia have held their heads high against Germany in their last two meetings in friendlies. Prior to that, though, the Socceroos shocked Die Mannschaft in 2011, recording a 2-1 win in Moenchengladbach.
However, the Socceroos have arrived in Russian Federation on the back of a narrow World Cup qualifying win over Saudi Arabia and a hammering by Brazil.
Despite being under the cosh for the majority of the opening hour, Leno's lapses in concentration kept Australia in the contest and it was Ange Postecoglou's team who were pushing late on for an equaliser.
"I think it was down to us being a bit nervous, a bit anxious and forcing things - pushing passes instead of being a bit more calm and composed on the ball", Ryan said of the substandard start that unfolded in front of him.
The reigning World Cup champions scored quick goals in each half and turned back Australia 3-2 in Sochi to move into a tie atop Group B with Chile.