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Germany keen to impress in friendly against South Africa

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Germany keen to impress in friendly against South Africa
Photo: DPA
12:43 CEST+02:00
Germany coach Joachim Löw insists his team will impress in Saturday's friendly against South Africa as the national side looks to improve its performance ahead of their World Cup qualifiers.

“We are well aware that we disappointed our fans in recent games, as we failed to reach our full potential,” admitted Löw after his side struggled to a 2-0 win against minnows Azerbaijan last month.

Germany plays Azerbaijan again in a World Cup qualifier in Hanover next Wednesday, but faces the biggest challenge of the campaign to reach the 2010 World Cup so far when the team faces Russia in Moscow on October 10.

“Against South Africa and then against Azerbaijan, we need to control the action, we need to return to that dominance that has been the signature of our game in the past,” Löw said ahead of the clash with the World Cup hosts.

“I feel certain that we will succeed.”

Since succeeding Jürgen Klinsmann as national coach in August 2006, Löw has registered 28 wins, six losses and six draws as well as having reached the final of Euro 2008 when his team lost 1-0 to Spain in Vienna last June.

Bayern Munich striker Mirsolav Klose is expected to make his 90th appearance for Germany at the South Africa match in Leverkusen as he looks to add to the 45 goals he has scored for his country.

South Africa and Germany have met three times so far: a scoreless draw in 1995 in Johannesburg, and a 3-0 home-win in Düsseldorf in 1997 before Germany won the last encounter in September 2005 in Bremen when Lukas Podolski scored three goals in a 4-2 win.

South Africa coach Joel Santana has said his side may be underdogs but insisted they would not be overawed.

“There are underdogs and there are giants, but the beauty of the game of football is that after the match has started anything can happen,” said Santana, whose side are ranked 73rd in the world.

“It will be a difficult match, but we are confident.”

After finishing fourth in the Confederations Cup last June, Santana says his team was almost ready for the World Cup next year.

And South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena said his team was taking the match very seriously and was eager for the opportunity to attempt an upset, despite a few injuries.

“The Germans are experienced, but I think we have what it takes to face them and we will have to show our mettle,” said the Portsmouth star.

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