February 26, 2018

Green Germany expect tough Confederations Cup start

20 June 2017, 01:44 | Marlene Fleming

German wary of Australia in Confederations Cup

Emre Can set to start for Germany

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou insists his players will take nothing for granted despite Germany taking a weakened side to their Confederations Cup opener this afternoon.

Tomi Juric ensured an exciting finish to the game when he pulled one back in the 56th minute - the goal awarded following the latest Video Assistant Referee (VAR) referral - but Australia lacked the individual quality to genuinely worry an experimental Germany. His first effort from the edge of the box was blocked, but he placed a follow-up shot under the arms of Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno to tie the match at 1-1.

Liverpool midfielder Can was introduced in the 78th minute of the Group B fixture in Sochi.

"Who would expect it to be ideal?" We don't have all the [usual] players in our team, but that could be an advantage.

With Australia less than convincing in their recent outings as they look to scrape their way to the 2018 World Cup, the Socceroos will be desperate to impress in Russian Federation.

"We were losing our thread, our attacks were not as consistent and we weren't single-minded", Loew said.

"That's something that is very important for us - we believe now and that's something that maybe at the beginning wasn't there".

"It's a great opening game for us, against the world champions, who want to want to win the World Cup next year".

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And it didn't take the scratch line-up long to click as Lars Stindl latched onto a pass from Brandt to open the scoring with just five minutes on the clock.

Julian Draxler, an unused substitute in the 2014 World Cup final win over Argentina, restored Germany's lead from the penalty spot before halftime.

The Australian threat continued until the final whistle but Germany clung on to collect a vital three points in Group B.

"As it sits right now we're in good shape to perform at our very best". That being said, this seems like a game to much for Australia and I think that they will be comfortably beaten by the Germans. In 2011, the Socceroos shocked a below-strength side with a 2-1 win in Monchengladbach. Postecoglou's appointment represented fresh thinking from Football Federation Australia: for the first time in nearly a decade, the managerial position would be held by an Australian.

But Australia never stopped working to get the ball, and their pressure paid off in the 41st minute.

Three Australian defenders all got sucked into the near post when Julian Brandt prepared to cross and he cut the ball back for an unmarked Stindl to slam home his first global goal.

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

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