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Germany have no scoring problem, will top group: Loew

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Germany News Conference - Stade Camille Fournier, Evian-Les-Bains, France - 18/6/16 - Germany's coach Joachim Loew during news conference. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Germany News Conference - Stade Camille Fournier, Evian-Les-Bains, France - 18/6/16 - Germany's coach Joachim Loew during news conference. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By Karolos Grohmann

EVIAN (Reuters) - Title contenders Germany do not have fundamental scoring problems despite a goalless draw against Poland and will top their Euro 2016 Group C with a win over Northern Ireland next week, coach Joachim Loew said on Saturday.

The world champions won their tournament opener against Ukraine 2-0 before drawing 0-0 against the Poles on Thursday after failing to carve out any meaningful scoring chances.

"Our team in all the matches creates chances. I don't see it as a fundamental problem for us. It just appeared in that one match," Loew said.

"We always scored many goals. I don't see an attacking problem after one game."

Loew deployed attacking midfielder Mario Goetze as a forward against Poland, as he had done in their opener, but the 24-year-old failed to make a mark against a tight defence.

He then brought on striker Mario Gomez in the final 18 minutes but he also failed to make any meaningful impact.

"The problem was not Goetze or Gomez," Loew said. "The problem was we did not play our game coming from deep, we did not do our runs down the pitch."

He said teams need players who can dribble past defenders in one-on-one situations to break open the packed backlines against defensive-minded teams in the tournament.

"We need players to take on one-on-ones," he said.

"Dribblers today are an important factor for teams at this Euro because some teams, as feared, are defensively very deep and are defending with nine or 10. Northern Ireland defend with a six-man line and three in front.

"We do not have many who can do that (one-on-one). Our team operates with passing and combinations. So because we don't have many one-on-one players we have to combine and plan our runs."

Loew, whose team is eyeing a fourth continental title to add to their four World Cup crowns, said he was confident his players would deliver against Northern Ireland.

"We want to win, we will win and we will top the group," he said. "I think we will then play in Lille for our round of 16. I don't know any other way."

Germany are top of their group on four points, ahead of Poland on goal difference. Northern Ireland are on three, with Ukraine bottom after two losses from two games.

(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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