Best is yet to come for Germany

Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka winning a penalty after being fouled by Australia midfielder Massimo Luongo. An experimental-looking Germany, shorn of their experienced stars, will next play Copa America winners Chile while the Socceroos face Africa
Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka winning a penalty after being fouled by Australia midfielder Massimo Luongo. An experimental-looking Germany, shorn of their experienced stars, will next play Copa America winners Chile while the Socceroos face African champions Cameroon.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Young guns are still gelling but Confed Cup progression will see an improvement

SOCHI (Russia) • Germany manager Joachim Low promised there will be much more to come from his young squad after the world champions opened their Confederations Cup campaign with a 3-2 win over Australia.

Fresh-faced Germany, with only 138 international appearances between the starters, were made to work harder than expected in Group B on Monday.

Lars Stindl, Leon Goretzka and Julian Draxler - the latter from a penalty - scored for Germany, while Tom Rogic and Tomi Juric netted for Australia.

With all of his World Cup-winning stars left at home, Low warned his youthful side that their next opponents, Chile, will offer them a tough test in Kazan tomorrow.

"Who'd expect everything to be perfect after only 10 days together? We have done really well for the time we had together," he said. "Not everything went well and we have to correct things.

"Chile will be a different game, they play with a lot of intensity and we will need to play well over 90 minutes, not just over 60.

"Chile is one of the world's best teams, not just in this tournament, they have a lot of experience and fantastic individuals."

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    Scorer Lars Stindl is the second-oldest player in a youthful German Confederations Cup squad - behind 29-year-old Sandro Wagner.

Australia barely escaped their own half in the opening 30 minutes. However, they had a string of late chances to equalise after their second was allowed to stand despite a suggestion of handball leading to a review from the video assistant referee.

Australia head coach Ange Postecoglou cut a disappointed figure after the defeat, and expects the Socceroos, who lost all three games on their last appearance at the Confederations Cup in 2005, to bounce back against African champions Cameroon tomorrow.

"It's disappointing, we were barely clinging on in the first half," he admitted.

"The second half was better, we composed ourselves and got back into things.

"There's no question we're a team full of character and courage. We're trying to play a certain way against the very best. It's not easy to do," he added, referring to the 3-2-4-1 system he employed.

"They're putting themselves out there and testing themselves as we want them to. We'll continue to do that."

Low credited Postecoglou's men for playing out from the back, and believes Australia have improved since their 4-0 rout at the hands of Germany in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup.

"They aren't playing long balls any more, they are courageous and cheeky enough to boldly attack," he said.

"Not many teams are doing that and they have developed positively in the last three years."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2017, with the headline 'Best is yet to come for Germany'. Print Edition | Subscribe