Confederations Cup 2017: Germany start campaign with narrow victory over Australia
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 24, 2017,
Jun 24, 2017, 4:11
Tim Cahill leads his teammates during a training session ahead of tonight's Confederations Cup group match with Germany in Russian Federation. Incidentally, a 4-0 score-line in favour of Germany is quite likely considering that was the outcome when the pair met at the 2010 World Cup.
Ange Postecoglou and his men will be eager to get some momentum and confidence back in the Socceroos side at the Confederations Cup ahead of their crucial remaining qualifiers.
Leon Goretzka grabbed another three minutes after the restart but again the Germans dropped the ball with Leno letting a shot slip out of his hands and Tomi Juric tapping in as Germany paid the price of their poor conversion rate.
Asian Cup glory booked the Socceroos' place in Russian Federation this year, while a spot here in 12 months' time will stand or fall by an expansive and ambitious playing style.
Australia's commitment to a more attacking style of play, even against global heavyweights, has drawn some criticism but Behich is confident their approach will pay dividends in St Petersburg.
Part of it had to do with Australia kicking it up a notch.
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.
"In the first half we should have made more with our chances", said captain Paris Saint-Germain's Julian Draxler, who netted Germany's second goal with a penalty.
In its fifth deployment, Australia's tactics showed no ease of letting-up from the defensive problems it has presented.
Coach Ange Postecoglou is likely to ring the changes for the match - not necessarily due to poor performers, but to spare exhausted bodies.
"(But) there's no doubt it's a team full of character and courage.
"It's a loss and it falls on me". We're trying to play a certain way against the very best. But he can only work with what he's got and in expecting players whose employers are Huddersfield, Bristol City, Celtic, Jiangsu Suning and QPR to outplay regular starters of Schalke, PSG, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma and Arsenal, a system proudly boasted as ambitious is at risk of being remembered as naive.
Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno dives for the ball during the Confederations Cup, Group B soccer match between Australia and Germany, at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Monday, June 19, 2017. Eventually they grow as footballers.
Germany always seemed to have an extra gear and they exercised it nearly straight from the kick-off as they restored their lead from the penalty spot. The lack of a middle ground between two polarising ideologies is becoming a sore point of frustration for the Australian public.
Germany have plenty of them, but can't seem to settle on who should be the long-term replacement for Manuel Neuer when the Bayern Munich keeper calls time on his career.