International Friendlies: Austria 2-1 Germany, 5 talking points
Germany’s World Cup preparations suffered an unlikely setback after going down 2-1 to Austria in a warm-up match in Klagenfurt.
With heavy rains delaying the kick-off by a good 105 minutes, the defending world champions took just 11 minutes to open the account after Mesut Ozil pounced on a defensive error. But Germany gradually receded into mediocrity after that.
Das Team, who appeared disjointed at first, turned the screw in the second-half with a much-improved display, and also bagged two crucial goals to seal a shock win; their first over Germany in 32 years.
Manager Joachim Löw was left with plenty to ponder after another disappointing performance. Here are some major talking points from the match:
#1 Germany’s winless run doesn’t bode well ahead of Russia
Three consecutive draws to England, France and Spain was followed by a narrow defeat to Brazil. But the new low has really set the alarm bells ringing. Just two weeks now from their opener against Mexico, Germany look far from ready. Creativity was at a premium today. All the poise of the initial exchanges dissipated even before the end of the first-half.It’s a common spectacle to see Germany underperform in the friendlies only to up the ante at the majors and somehow get through to at least the semi-finals. But their recent run really would spell worry for the manager and the fans alike. With the latest setback, the Die Mannschaft have now gone 5 games without a win, their worst run in 30 years.
Loew’s men appeared unfazed even when Austria took the lead and did little of note to mount a comeback. This isn’t their best starting line-up, but the listless show, as the manager himself admitted, is disappointing.
It doesn’t bode well with the tournament lurking just around the corner.