Untested Germans seek Confed Cup thrills at theme park site

Laura Christensen
June 20, 2017

A youthful Germany side weathered a second-half fightback by Australia to open their Confederations Cup campaign with a 3-2 win over the Socceroos on Monday in Sochi.

The world champions did not bring the likes of Toni Kroos, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller with them to Russian Federation, but Low's experimental team proved to be more-than-adequate replacements for this test as Lars Stindl, captain Julian Draxler and Leon Goretzka all found the net.

They squandered a bagful of chances in a one-sided first half and were punished when Tommy Rogic scored out of nowhere, his first off-target shot bouncing off a defender's back and his rebound slipping in under keeper Bernd Leno.

Being a defending Champions, this 8 team confederations warm-up match is a test to defend their championship for next year Russian Federation 2018 World Cup.

"If we can play the style that we know, we can most definitely beat them".

Lars Stindl had put Germany ahead before Celtic's Tom Rogic equalised.

Postecoglou's Australia bowed out in Brazil with three defeats from group matches against Chile, Netherlands and Spain - prompting a period of supposed transition that has already reaped handsome rewards.

There's a lot of talent in each position for this German side, including Barcelona's Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich and Niklas Sule, Borussia Dortmund's Matthias Ginter, Hoffenheim's Kerem Demirbay, Roma's Antonio Rudiger and Schalke's Leon Goretzka.

"They have young players but there is pressure on them to do well". Australia, on the other hand, will be at full strength and a win will be a huge confidence boost for the Socceroos.

Those who did turn out saw Germany waste no time in taking the lead with just five minutes gone.

Germany made wholesale changes to their squad, with only seven players from their EURO 2016 squad called in for this tournament.

The gulf in quality was clear, and yet the callow Germans discovered the perils of not killing off a game.

Australia has held its heads high against Germany in their last two friendlies.

At least two members of the Australian squad will be familiar to the Germans - goalkeeper Mitch Langerak of newly-promoted Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart and Mathew Leckie, who has just been relegated with FC Ingolstadt but is set to line up for Hertha Berlin next season.

Massimo Luongo took down Goretzka three minutes after the Socceroos had drawn level to concede a penalty kick and Draxler slotted home to make it 2-1 at half time.

It was extended further three minutes into the second half.

Julian Draxler is the most-experienced global in the squad and he led by example with a first-half goal.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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