Football: 5 key matches as Germany manager Joachim Low hits 150 international games milestone

Germany coach Joachim Low gesturing during the Confederations Cup match against Cameroon on June 25, 2017.
Germany coach Joachim Low gesturing during the Confederations Cup match against Cameroon on June 25, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

Sochi, Russia (AFP) - Joachim Low reached the milestone of 150 international matches in charge of Germany in Sunday's Confederations Cup clash against Cameroon.

His record as Germany coach following their 3-1 win in Sochi stands at 100 wins, 27 draws and 23 defeats.

Here are five key Germany matches under Low's stewardship since he first took charge for a 3-0 friendly win over Sweden on Aug 16, 2006:

1) Germany 0 Spain 1 (Torres 33) - June 29, 2008, Euro 2008 final

Low's first final with Germany was settled by Fernando Torres, who managed to hold off 2014 World Cup winning-captain Philipp Lahm to score the winning goal in Vienna.

En route, Germany beat Portugal 3-2 in their quarter-final tie when Bastian Schweinsteiger scored an early goal, then managed to keep Cristiano Ronaldo quiet.

It was the first time Low switched from the classic 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1 formation, giving the attack more width and it was the system which saw Germany win the World Cup six years later.

2) Argentina 0-4 Germany (Muller 3, Klose 68, 89, Friedrich 74) - July 3, 2010, World Cup quarter-final

The Germans made the world take notice with an impressive display as Diego Maradona's Argentina, boasting Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez, were cut to ribbons after Low pinpointed weaknesses in their defence.

Thomas Muller headed home a Schweinsteiger free-kick to give the Germans an early lead.

Striker Miroslav Klose netted twice and defender Arne Friedrich grabbed another as the Germans scored three times in the final 22 minutes to floor the Argentinians in Cape Town.

Germany's World Cup run in South Africa ended in the semi-finals when they were starved of possession in losing 1-0 to Spain.

3) Germany 1 (Ozil 90) Italy 2 (Balotelli 20, 36) - June 28, 2012, Euro 2012 semi-final

Arguably the most bitter defeat of Low's tenure. The Germans had no answer to Andrea Pirlo's precision, Mario Balotelli's power or the Italian's rock-solid defence in Warsaw.

With Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in top form, Germany's attack was thwarted and centre-backs Holger Badstuber and Mats Hummels could not cope with Balotelli's strength.

With their backs against the wall, Low's side lacked leadership, which became a constant topic in the German media up until the criticism was silenced by winning the World Cup two years later.

4) Brazil 1 (Oscar 90) Germany 7 (Mueller 11, Klose 23, Kroos 24, 26, Khedira 29, Schurrle 69, 79) - July 8, 2014, World Cup semi-final

It's hard to imagine there ever being a more sensational result at a World Cup. The hosts were emotionally fraught before kick-off having lost superstar forward Neymar to injury.

With the Selecao defence in abject disarray, the Germans ruthlessly exploited the situation with four goals coming in six mind-blowing first-half minutes.

It finished 5-0 at half-time and there were plenty of tear-stained faces amongst Brazil fans in Belo Horizonte.

Toni Kroos netted twice inside two minutes in a superb display while Klose broke the record for the most goals scored at World Cup Finals in a crushing opening 45 minutes from the Germans.

The message in the half-time dressing room was to stay focused and show the hosts the respect the famous yellow jersey deserved.

Andre Schurrle came off the bench to score twice in the second half and five days later he provided the cross for the goal which won Germany the 2014 World Cup.

5) Germany 1 (Gotze 113) Argentina 0 - July 13, 2014, World Cup final

The crowning moment of Low's reign as Mario Gotze's extra-time shot sealed the World Cup title at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana Stadium.

Low was emotional at the final whistle, embracing veterans Schweinsteiger, who was magnificent in producing his best display in the famous white shirt and skipper Lahm.

On the sidelines, Low told Gotze "show the world that you're better than Messi" before bringing him off the bench just before the final whistle.

Some 20 minutes later - with extra time almost up - Gotze made no mistake with Schurrle's floated cross on 113 minutes to seal Germany's fourth World Cup title.