SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

Paraguay draw ‘warning’ for jittery Germany

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer insisted Germany's 3-3 friendly draw at home to Paraguay must serve as a warning ahead of next month's World Cup qualifiers.

Paraguay draw 'warning' for jittery Germany
Photo: DPA

Only an equaliser 15 minutes from time by Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender saved the Germans’ blushes after Paraguay, ranked 49th in the world with Germany second, had raced into a two-goal lead after 15 minutes in Kaiserslautern on Wednesday.

The Germans play Austria in Munich on September 6 and then travel to the Faroe Islands four days later as they look to maintain a five-point lead at the top of Group C in their quest for a berth at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“This match came at a good time – it should serve as a warning. We definitely can’t afford to play like that against Austria,” said Bayern Munich’s Neuer.

After racing into an early lead, Paraguay looked to be heading for a first win over a strong Germany team missing only Bayern pair Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Götze.

Goals by Paraguay striker Jose Ariel Nunez and midfielder Wilson Pittoni were cancelled out when Ilkay Gundogan and Thomas Mueller pulled Germany back to 2-2 in a busy opening half-hour.

But the visitors took a deserved lead into the break after winger Miguel Samudio scored their third before Bender’s equaliser.

After his side faced a chorus of whistles at the sold-out 47,500-capacity Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Germany coach Joachim Löw again pointed to defensive flaws with the 4-3 defeat to the USA in Washington DC in June still fresh in the memory.

“We were lacking in both concentration and tactics during the first 10 to 15 minutes,” admitted Löw. “There were some crass mistakes in the first half and we gave our opponents way too much space.”

Germany and Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels, who was out of position for both the Nunez and Samudio goals, was furious with his mistakes.

“I don’t really care whether I have to accept blame for the goals or someone else – they just shouldn’t have happened,” fumed the 24-year-old.

Paraguay, quarter-finalists at the 2010 World Cup but currently bottom of South American qualifying for the 2014 finals, had deserved to finish the first half in the lead and captain Roque Santa Cruz, 32, said the draw boosted his young side.

“We don’t have much experience in this team so it’s really nice to get this result in Germany,” said the ex-Manchester City player. “It’s a good confidence booster for us to draw with one of the favourites for the World Cup next year.”

German captain Philipp Lahm said the defensive errors would be erased before they host Austria.

“We only trained twice before this match,” said the Bayern Munich defender. “We’ll have more time to prepare and obviously we don’t want to concede three goals next time.”

AFP/jcw

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

SHOW COMMENTS