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FOOTBALL

Löw feeling good after final friendly win

Germany coach Joachim Löw said his side will travel to South Africa in a positive mood after an impressive 3-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Thursday in their final World Cup dress rehearsal.

Löw feeling good after final friendly win
Photo: DPA

New captain Philipp Lahm hit the equaliser and his deputy Bastian Schweinsteiger scored two penalties as Germany had to come from behind against a side that only just missed out on the finals themselves, losing to Portugal in a play-off.

Löw has endured a difficult few weeks which have seen him lose captain Michael Ballack, midfielder Christian Träsch and defender Heiko Westermann, all through injuries.

But the national coach said he is happy with his squad as youngsters Mesut Özil and Marko Marin both impressed in a good team performance.

“We went up a gear in the second-half,” admitted Löw, whose side faces Australia, Serbia and Ghana in Group D in the Republic and are bidding to win their fourth World Cup title.

“It was great how the team increased the pace, we have great potential and have all worked very hard, but we also have a great deal of hard work ahead of us.

“We have a good team, we are in a good mood and we know we can play well in this tournament. I have complete confidence.”

Having beaten both Malta and Hungary 3-0 last month in warm-up games, Germany responded to Edin Dzeko’s early goal with an impressive performance, but the captain said their is still room for improvement.

“I am unhappy we didn’t keep a clean sheet,” said Lahm.

“We struggled to create goals in the first-half, but luckily we worked things out.

“I look forward to the World Cup, we are in a good mood, have trained well and are fit.”

With Ballack out of the World Cup, Lahm will wear the captain’s armband in South Africa when Germany open their campaign against Australia on June 13.

He was at fault when Bosnia took the lead after he tried to clear the ball from a Dzeko attack, but could only watch in horror as the ball hit the Wolfsburg striker on the chest and looped over Manuel Neuer in the German goal.

Having fallen behind to the 15th-minute goal, Germany laid siege to the visitors goal with Özil going close with a couple of clear chances while Podolski rattled the cross-bar with a fierce shot.

But the hosts finally had their patience rewarded when Lahm went on a weaving run at the Bosnian goal and buried his shot past goalkeeper Kenan Hasagic on 51 minutes for the equaliser.

With 20 minutes left, Werder Bremen’s Marko Marin came off the bench against the country of his birthplace and was straight into the attack, winning a penalty just two minutes after his introduction.

He was brought down by Sanel Jahic and Schweinsteiger netted the penalty on 72 minutes.

”Schweini” stepped up again to net the second penalty when second-half substitute Thomas Müller was brought down in the penalty area on 76 minutes by Bosnia captain Emir Spahic.

The performance bodes well for the opening game in Durban with Lahm targetting a semi-final place for Die Mannschaft.

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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