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International friendlies: Germany 2-1 Saudi Arabia, 5 Talking Points

Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
6.92K   //    09 Jun 2018, 09:50 IST

A nervy 2-1 win for defending world champions Germany
A nervy 2-1 win for defending world champions Germany

Germany wrapped up their preparations for the World Cup with another disappointing performance that saw the world champions end a 5-game winless streak by a marginal 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia.

This should’ve been a walk in the park for Loew’s men, but once again, they didn’t appear to be in their element. The Green Falcons showed tremendous vim and vigor throughout the match to turn a potential mauling into just another defeat. And they also pulled one back after Mohammed Al-Sahlawi missed a penalty.

Die Mannschaft were in control for large spells, but lacked the flair that propelled them to a 4th world title 4 years ago, and manager Loew will not at all be convinced by the manner of the win. Plenty of concerns for the holders just a week before the opener against Mexico.

Here are the major talking points:

#1 Sluggish Germany are in for a long Russian summer

Germany's title defense would be put through the wringer in Russia
Germany's title defense would be put through the wringer in Russia

Germany are a hard nut to crack. You may probably need a sledgehammer for the task. For the reigning world champions play below-par in friendlies, only to turn up the heat at the majors. But even that’s in question now after a string of poor results.

Saudi Arabia were there for the taking, the second-lowest ranked side in the tournament and one of the weakest. But Germany’s listless display allowed them to stage a valiant fight. There were a few bright spots at the beginning, when they unleashed an avalanche of attacks. What they lacked was the cutting edge to kill the game off by half-time.

Germany avoided an embarrassing draw when Saudi grew into the match in the dying embers, but the eventual victory could hardly be less convincing. Even the defense lacked solidity and on another day and against another side, a defeat would’ve been unavoidable.

Loew’s men did little to convince people they are in shape to defend their title. And a repeat of such subpar showings would spell a long, treacherous journey in Russia.

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Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Football aficionado. Writing enthusiast. Aspiring journalist.
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