Confederations Cup: Germany braced for Socceroos counterattacks in Sochi opener

Lynette Rowe
June 24, 2017

A youthful Germany side weathered a second-half fightback by Australia to open their Confederations Cup campaign with a 3-2 win over the Socceroos on Monday in Sochi.

Australia will now turn their attentions towards Thursday's crunch clash with Cameroon in St Petersburg, the African champions having also suffered defeat in their first match at the hands of Chile.

Australia will play Germany first up.

The Australian threat persisted but Germany clung on to collect three points in the Fisht Stadium, where around 20,000 seats were empty.

"We need to work on maintaining our stability. but this is a new team and things have worked very well".

Chile already beat the Cameroon 2-0 yesterday night, to go top of the group, and will be only confirmed after today's game.

While head coach Ange Postecoglou suffered injury blows ahead of the tournament when captain Mile Jedinak and defender Bradley Smith were ruled out through injury, he can still call on experienced names in the form of goalkeeper Maty Ryan, who plays his club football at Valencia in Spain, defender Trent Sainsbury, who's at Inter Milan, and evergreen striker Tim Cahill - who at 37 remains committed to the Socceroos' cause. We are getting an ok price on this so perhaps this is the best bet to make on this match. "In terms of a result it's a loss and the loss falls on me".

Germany then missed a big chance of there own as a cross was somehow was cleared off the line, and then Australia leveled things up with Rogic drilling home at the second attempt to make it 1-1 against the run of play.

The world champions face Australia on Tuesday morning (1:00am AEST) in Sochi and expect to face a team of counter-attackers uninterested in holding the ball.

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Joachim Low's men took the lead after just five minutes when Lars Stindl broke through to fire home for his first goal for the national team.

Germany sent on Timo Werner for the ineffectual Wagner, and the young RB Leipzig striker was causing Australia all sorts of problems with his pace, nearly scoring a fourth goal after a twisting and weaving run but could only manage to hit the post in the 75th minute.

Australia barely escaped their own half in the opening 30 minutes.

It was not to last.

Germany would go back in front on the stroke of half-time as Julian Draxler scored comfortably from the penalty spot, after Leon Goretzka was brought down in the area.

With the Germans screaming for handball, the decision to give the goal was referred to the video assistant referee.

World-class goalkeeper Neuer is recovering from foot surgery, so Bayer Leverkusen's shot-stopper Bernd Leno is tasked with keeping Australia's attack at bay.

Those moves paid off - Kimmich was effective midfield and Werner hit the post in the 75th minute - but the Germans still barely held onto the win.

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