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FOOTBALL

Germany still out of sorts, beat Austria 2-1

Germany beat Austria 2-1 on Tuesday evening to stay top of their World Cup qualifying group, but the team admitted they would have to raise its game to make it to Brazil in 2014.

Germany still out of sorts, beat Austria 2-1
Özil scores Germany's second goal. Photo: DPA

Goals in each half from Marco Reus and Mesut Özil ensured Germany stayed ahead of Ireland and Sweden in Group C, after a 3-0 victory against the Faroe Islands in its first qualifier on Friday.

But a goal by Werder Bremen midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic in the 57th minute, as well as narrowly missed chances by a combative Austrian team in the last few minutes before the final whistle, kept the Germans on their toes until the end.

“I’m very happy with the result because we got three points away in Austria against a strong team,” Germany coach Joachim Löw said after the match.

“With the game itself, I’m only marginally happy… all the Austrian chances came from errors on our part. After the 2-1, we should have controlled the game.

“We got ourselves into difficulty and we were lucky (Marko) Arnautovic missed that chance,” he added after the Werder Bremen midfielder missed a close range shot on goal in the dying minutes of the game.

Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira agreed. “We can be happy with our three points but not with the way we won them,” he said.

“We were up 2-0 and then we let Austria back into the game with tactical errors. That should not happen.”

Germany seemed to have the game in the bag when Junuzovic hit the back of the net, spurring the Austrians back into action, encouraged by some 47,000 spectators in Vienna’s packed Ernst Happel Stadium.

“We made mistakes and literally handed our opponents two or three invitations (to score),” said Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller, who helped Germany to its second goal when he was brought down by Austria’s Veli Kavlak, leading to a penalty that was expertly converted by Özil.

“We did not deliver a perfect game… we were just lucky in the end.”

The encounter had been built up on the Austrian side as their best chance in years to beat traditional rivals Germany, with confidence high after several international victories, and players benefiting from experience playing abroad.

The Germans are now focussed on their next opponents Ireland and Sweden – ranked 26th and 18th in the world by FIFA, compared to Austria’s 49th place – which are the greater adversaries in Group C.

Still, skipper Philipp Lahm acknowledged that Austria had posed serious problems for the German team in the first and last 25 minutes of the game.

“Austria confirmed it had a good team today,” he noted. Austria’s Swiss coach Koller meanwhile vowed to build on Tuesday’s experiences.

“We showed we could play well but unfortunately the points didn’t show that.”

“When you lose, you’re not happy. But how it happened, how they played, that was good. We need to keep that up,” he said, as Austria prepare to face Kazakhstan twice next month.

VfB Stuttgart’s Martin Harnik, who had a number of chances in the first half, agreed.

“We created our own failure… we had the Germans under control. We can lose against them; the important thing is now to get the points against the other teams.”

AFP/hc

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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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