2014 World Cup champions Germany narrowly defeated Australia in an exciting five-goal thriller in Sochi.
Lars Stindl broke the deadlock for the German inside five minutes, scoring his first ever senior international goal. However, Australia equalised on 41 minutes against the run of play via Tom Rogic.
Germany quickly regained their one-goal lead from the penalty spot, following Luongo’s lunging challenge on Goretzka. Draxler converted his penalty kick on the brink of half-time to send Germany towards victory.
Goretzka secured the three points immediately after the half-time interval with Germany’s third goal. Kimmich slotted the ball down the right hand side and the Schalke midfielder latched onto his pass to thump the ball beyond Matt Ryan at his near post.
Australia were given a glimpse of hope from Juric’s controversial goal on 56 minutes but the Socceroos were unable to find an equaliser. Germany moved into second place, behind Chile on goal difference. Australia dropped into third place, ahead of Cameroon on goal difference.
Germany fielded a team with only 137 caps combined, leaving the likes of Mats Hummels, Manuel Neuer, Mezut Ozil and Thomas Muller out of the squad. They also extended their unbeaten record to 11 games, with their last defeat occurring against France in the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
Australia have lost back-to-back games for the first time since November 2014. They also lost 4-3 against Germany in the opening group match of the 2005 Confederations Cup. The Socceroos went onto finish bottom of their group and lose all three group games, conceding a total of 10 goals.
The clash of the titans tie between Germany and Chile will take place at the Kazan Arena on Thursday. AFCON champions Cameroon face Australia earlier in the afternoon, with both teams requiring a victory to have any hope of advancing to the semi-finals.
Group B will conclude on Sunday when Germany play Cameroon at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, and Chile face Australia in Moscow.
No Neuer, Ozil, Hummels or Muller. No Problem!
Joachim Low selected a weakened squad and decided to rest various top players for the 2017 Confederations Cup. This allowed players such as Lars Stindl, Julian Brandt, Sandro Wagner and Leon Goretzka to make an impact for Nationalelf.
Lars Stindl opened his goal scoring account for Germany, after just 3 caps for the 2014 World Cup champions. At 28-years-old, he’s a hardly a promising youngster, but he could be a late bloomer to burst into the German set-up.
Leon Goretzka, on the other hand, is only 22-years-old and put in a very good account of himself this afternoon. He was involved in the majority of Germany’s attack for the first 75 minutes, earning a spot kick and scoring the third goal and eventual winner.
Julian Brandt, Niklas Sule, Joshua Kimmich and Timo Werner also impressed in Sochi. Brandt and Kimmich both won the 2014 under-19 European Championships and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Emre Can reached the semi-finals of the 2015 European Championships.
This further emphasises the importance of youth football for the Germans’, who assembled a large percentage of their 2014 World Cup winning team from the 2009 under-21 European Championship winning team.
The 2017 Confederations Cup will give them the perfect platform to begin to produce another world beating team. They have the potential to achieve success in the future and it proves Germany have such great depth.