Germans in gloomy mood after second-half capitulation

BERLIN • Germany's manager Joachim Loew has admitted he was annoyed to see his world champions squander a two-goal lead to lose 2-3 to England on Saturday.

"It's annoying as a coach when we lose after being 2-0 up, but you can't say we didn't deserve it," said Loew, who steered Germany to their fourth World Cup triumph at Brazil in 2014. "Even when we were 2-0 up, we weren't in control. We had problems in our build-up and struggled up front."

Germany host Italy in Munich tomorrow and Loew knows there is much to be done in his final friendly before naming his Euro 2016 squad.

"We know the areas we have to work on, some of the combinations didn't work," he said. "In the second-half, we gave away a crazy amount of space. We lost balls on the counter and the English had more and more space for their quick attackers to exploit."

Germany have failed to impress since winning the World Cup, losing Euro qualifiers to Poland and Ireland.

Despite finishing top of their qualifying group, they have much to do if they are to add the European crown to their world title in France.

With their captain Bastian Schweinsteiger facing a race to be fit for Euro 2016 after a knee injury, the stand-in skipper in Berlin, Sami Khedira, was not amused.

"It was an unnecessary, dumb defeat," he fumed. "Every member of the team has to remember to keep working hard. We did a lot right up until we went 2-0 up, then a lot less after that. We played well for 60 minutes only. We have to play much better against Italy and at the European Championship."

Scorer Mario Gomez was also at a loss to explain the defeat.

"It's hard to explain," said the striker. "Up until we went 2-0 up, we played really well, although we didn't really use all our chances. After that, we left too much space and gave England the belief."

Midfielder Toni Kroos put the defeat down to poor defending, as centre-back Jonathan Tah made his debut in the second-half in an inexperienced back four.

He said: "Even though we had a few new faces in defence, a performance like that still shouldn't have happened."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2016, with the headline 'Germans in gloomy mood after second-half capitulation'. Print Edition | Subscribe