Wasteful Germany made to sweat in Sochi
Germans too strong for Australia but win should have been more comfortable
Germany’s Sandro Wagner sends a header wide. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Germany 3 Australia 2
Fresh-faced Germany were made to work harder than expected in their 3-2 victory over Australia in their Confederations Cup Group B debut on Monday with the world champions’ young squad still adjusting to tournament life.
With half a dozen key players rested this summer ahead of next year’s World Cup title defence in Russia, Germany coach Joachim Low brought a young team to Russia.
But they still should have had an easier afternoon on the Black Sea were it not for their wasted scoring chances.
They squandered a hatful of chances in a one-sided first half and were punished when Tommy Rogic scored out of nowhere, his first off-target shot bouncing off a defender’s back and his rebound slipping in under keeper Bernd Leno.
Their joy lasted only three minutes with the Germans earning a penalty on the stroke of half-time, captain Julian Draxler putting them back in the driving seat.