Germany worked hard for
a 2-0 win over Israel in a Euro 2012 warm-up match on Thursday
with Mario Gomez and Andre Schurrle on target in their final
test before next month's tournament.
The three-time European champions, among the title
favourites, dominated with a performance that was a marked
improvement on their 5-3 defeat by Switzerland on Saturday.
However, they wasted close to a dozen clear chances on a
rainy evening in Leipzig as they prepare for the finals being
co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
Germany face Portugal on June 9 in their first match in
Group B which also includes Netherlands and Denmark.
"We can say this was a decent final test of our preparation
and will give us a bit of a boost," said coach Joachim Low, who
is leading Germany for a third major tournament.
"Obviously not everything worked well yet. It is clear we
could have scored more goals but to go with a win into next week
is good for us," he told reporters.
"We will improve, the tempo at the tournament will be
higher, in the second half we squandered six or seven chances...
so there is still a bit to work on."
With Bastian Schweinsteiger ruled out with a nagging thigh
injury, Toni Kroos partnered Sami Khedira in a holding midfield
Captain Philipp Lahm switched from his usual right back
position to left-back with central defender Jerome Boateng
playing on the right where he is less comfortable.
The Germans, as expected, took the initiative in constant
pouring rain but had to wait 20 minutes for their first clear
chance when Boateng rattled the post with a curled left-foot
shot as Israel defended in numbers.
Gomez broke the deadlock five minutes before halftime,
picking up a Thomas Muller pass in the box and firing high into
the net for his 22nd international goal in 52 appearances.
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was called into action twice
soon after the break to rescue the hosts before they upped the
tempo again, missing several chances with Lukas Podolski and
Mueller among the culprits.
Substitute Schuerrle grabbed their deserved second goal
eight minutes from time, rifling home from 20 metres as Germany
won their first match this year after two defeats.
"We had some good combinations, allowed nothing to happen at
the back," said Lahm. "We [Bayern players] had not played for 12
days, we had only three days of training with the team so not
everything can work instantly. That's normal."
"We'll be fully fit when the tournament starts," added Lahm
who along with his club team mates had been given some rest
after losing to Chelsea in the Champions League final.
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010