Germany beat Israel, still ‘have far to go’

Germany coach Joachim Löw admitted his team have much to improve after they laboured to a 2-0 friendly win over minnows Israel on Thursday in their final warm-up game before Euro 2012.

Germany beat Israel, still 'have far to go'
Photo: DPA

The Germans open their Euro 2012 campaign in Group B against Portugal in Lviv, Ukraine, on Saturday June 9, but after losing two of their last three games, Löw’s side boosted flagging confidence against minnows Israel.

A first-half goal from Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez put the hosts ahead before Leverkusen’s Andre Schürrle came off the bench to double the lead eight minutes from time with a superb long-range strike.

Having suffered a shock 5-3 defeat to Switzerland in Basel last Saturday, the Germans managed to avoid their third straight defeat of the year, after also losing to France in February, but must still improve, according to Löw.

“It was a pretty decent final test, this will give us some momentum,” he said.

“Not everything ran smoothly, but taking a victory into next week will do us good. We still have to improve and work on finishing our goal chances, the organisation was better, but there is still much to do.”

Germany had far more shape and purpose in their attack than they showed in Basel, but captain Philipp Lahm succinctly summed up his team’s laboured performance.

“We have sensational quality in the squad, now we just have to show it,” he said. Adding, “we had some good combinations. It can’t always go perfectly, which is why the victory was important.”

Germany’s chances against Portugal received a boost with the news Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger should be fit for the opening game.

The 27-year-old injured his calf in Bayern Munich’s Champions League final defeat to Chelsea a fortnight ago and sat out the win over Israel, but should be fit.

“Bastian has been pain-free since Wednesday,” said Löw. “Now he has to start to run and he will train with the team again by Tuesday at the latest.”

Schweinsteiger, who has scored 23 goals in 90 appearances for Germany, suffered heart-break in the final as his missed spot-kick allowed Chelsea to win the penalty shoot-out, but is one of Löw’s first choice names.

Israel coach Eli Guttman is backing the Germans to live up to their pre-tournament billing as one of the favourites to lift the title in the Kiev final on July 1.

“I am satisfied on the whole,” he said. “Germany is one of the best teams in the world, it was normal that we had to defend well against such an opponent.

“This German team are among the favourites, even their bench is impressive. They can certainly do it at the European Championships.”


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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.