Löw ignores boos as young German side held

AFP - [email protected] • 14 May, 2014 Updated Wed 14 May 2014 08:13 CEST
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Coach Joachim Löw brushed off whistles from disgruntled home fans as Germany's youngest-ever side held Poland to a goalless draw in the first of their three pre-World Cup friendlies.

With 13 of his squad involved in Saturday's German Cup final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, Loew named eight debutants in his starting eleven, which had a combined total of just 13 caps, and ultimately 12 debuts were made after a flurry of second-half substitutions.

It was the youngest side ever named - with an average aged of 21.45 - in the 106-year history of German Football Association (DFB) internationals, beating the previous record of 21.5 for a 1908 international against Switzerland.
Several youngsters impressed on Tuesday in Hamburg, but it remains to be seen who stays in when the squad is cut to 25 or 26 players on Wednesday before being reduced to the definitive 23 in three weeks time.
Despite the whistles of discontent from the 37,000-strong crowd at the final whistle, at least Germany had protected their proud record of never having lost to their neighbours in 18 meetings.
"I didn't hear any whistling at the end, but besides the fans got a good performance from a young side and should be happy with that," said the 54-year-old Löw.
"That was fun, we had a crazy amount of debutants in the team, but they did their jobs very well. We were well organised and played well going forward. Even without the goals it was a fun game.
"We still have a few decisions to make as to who will be in the 25 or 26-strong squad we take to our training camp in the Tirol. We'll decide in the hotel later tonight and then inform the relevant players."

Löw has just one more friendly, against also World Cup bound Cameroon in Mönchengladbach on June 1st, before submitting his final 23-man World Cup squad on June 2nd, and Germany play a final warm-up against Armenia on June 6th before flying to Brazil.
"(Real Madrid's) Sami Khedira will join us after the Champions League final and then we'll work on a few things in our camp," said Löw.
"We'll play matches against our Under-23 side and Cameroon, but nothing has really been decided yet."
'You can't win with kids'
Of the starting side against Poland, only captain Julian Draxler has a realistic chance of lining up to face Portugal in Germany's Group G opener in Salvador on June 16th.
"When you are named German captain at the age of 20, that says a few things," admitted Draxler. "It was almost an Under-21 side out there today. When you've only had a training session it's tough to take all the things on board, so we've done well."
Schalke's promising trio of left-wing Draxler, attacking midfielder Max Meyer, 18, and right-wing Leon Goretzka, 19, had their first run out for the senior national side having all risen through the junior ranks.
Hoffenheim's 21-year-old striker Kevin Volland had a few half chances up front as he played the first half, while at the other end Poland's defensive midfielder Mateusz Klich forced Germany goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler into a save with half an hour gone.

Stuttgart's Antonio Rüdiger's 32nd-minute header was the Germans best chance of the opening half.
Augsburg's Andre Hahn, who came on for the second half, squandered a great chance to grab the winner six minutes from time when his bicycle kick failed to beat Poland goalkeeper and captain Artur Boruc.



AFP 2014/05/14 08:13

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