Germany’s young stars stunned by Australia

German Football
By German Football March 30, 2011 05:14

Germany’s young stars stunned by Australia

Australia’s Socceroos shocked Germany 2-1 in Mönchengladbach, taking a measure of revenge for their comprehensive defeat against Joachim Löw’s men in last year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Germany’s perfect record in competitive matches stretches back to their defeat at the hands of Spain in the semifinals in South Africa, yet in friendly matches the side has been anything but stellar.

“I think it can be a question of attitude,” substitute Miroslav Klose said after the match. “One can prepare very well, and then still be a bit too sloppy during the game. We shouldn’t let that happen.”

Germany looked on course to replicate their 4-0 win in Durban last summer when Mario Gomez scored a 26th-minute opener in a dominant first half for the world’s number three ranked side.

But the Socceroos stunned their hosts with two goals in four second-half minutes, first through David Carney and then a Luke Wilkshire penalty, to claim their first ever win over the Europeans.

It was also another major victory for Australia’s new German coach Holger Osieck, who guided his side to the final of the Asian Cup in his first tournament in charge in January.

Germany coach Joachim Löw did make a host of changes to the side that beat Kazakhstan 4-0 in their Euro 2012 qualifier at the weekend. Andre Schurrle and Sven Bender were handed their full international debuts, while Löw completely changed his back five, with Tim Wiese trusted in goal. Australia were, however, without their star man Tim Cahill, meaning Brett Holman partnered Harry Kewell up front.

Germany performed fairly well in the first half, enjoying the lion’s share of possession and chances without ever really excelling.

Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez, starting in place of his club teammate Miroslav Klose up front, opened the scoring in style after 26 minutes. Thomas Muller’s step-over allowed the ball to travel through to Schurrle and he held off two defenders before finding Gomez, who weighted his shot perfectly to beat a diving Mark Schwarzer into the top corner.

Lukas Podolski flashed a couple of free-kicks wide as Germany sought a second, while Australia’s best chance before the break saw Jedinak head a corner straight at Wiese.

“It was a real shame,” coach Joachim Löw said. “In the first half we did a really good job, the young players too. But we gave the game away in the second half.”

Around the hour-mark, Germany’s defense was caught napping twice in two minutes. Midfielder David Carney, who plies his trade in the English Premiership for Blackpool, broke free with ease down the left flank, and slotted the ball underneath Tim Wiese in the German goal.

Moments after the shock equalizer, veteran forward Harry Kewell tussled with Stuttgart’s young fullback Christian Träsch on the edge of the area. Eventually, Kewell went to ground and the referee decided, somewhat controversially, that Träsch had tripped him. Joachim Löw said after the game that he did not believe it was a penalty. Dynamo Moscow’s midfielder Luke Wilkshire converted the spot-kick.

“It would have been utterly unrealistic to believe that we could win before the match,” the Socceroos’ visibly delighted German coach Holger Osieck said. “I know the German side – and the quality they possess – too well for that. We just wanted to play our best and put on a good show.”

Germany traded strikers late on, bringing Klose on for Gomez, and the Bayern veteran missed a golden opportunity to level the scores on 78 minutes, having broken clear of the Australian defense. Klose was also booked for diving late on after falling over in the penalty area, though it was not clear whether he was seeking to deceive the French referee, or whether he simply lost his balance.

Bayern Munich attacker Thomas Müller, teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger,who was captain for the night, and Cologne captain Lukas Podolski were the only regulars to start the friendly against Australia.

Löw sought out a mixture of rising stars and experienced fringe players to make up the remainder of his side, including offering Dortmund’s Sven Bender his national team debut.

“Friendly matches are always a good chance for coaches to gain some insights,” Löw told reporters after the match. “Young players can really learn something in games like this. It can help them develop.”

Meanwhile, four of Germany’s Group A Euro 2012 qualifying opponents were in action around Europe. Belgium held onto second place in the group with a 4-1 win over Azerbaijan in Brussels. Turkey moved up to third, courtesy of their 2-0 home win against Austria, who dropped to fourth place in a group that Germany comfortably leads.

German Football
By German Football March 30, 2011 05:14
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