DURBAN - Germany showed a lack of courage
against European champions Spain and paid the price with a 1-0
defeat in their World Cup semi-final, coach Joachim Low and his
players said after Wednesday's match.
Low, who has now seen his team fall to the Spaniards in
both the tournaments he has been in charge for after they also
lost in the Euro 2008 final by the same score, said Spain were
the best team in the world at the moment.
"This is a well-oiled team that has been playing together
for two or three years with almost the exact same players. We,
on the other hand, had some inhibitions during the game but it's
difficult to explain why and what kind so soon after the match."
"We did not have the courage and conviction to fully play
our game. We were made to work hard to get the ball because they
have such good ball circulation," said the 50-year-old, whose
future with the team will be decided later this month.
The Germans, who came to the tournament with their youngest
World Cup team in 76 years, failed to get an early goal as they
did in their last two games against England and Argentina.
"There is great disappointment," said goalkeeper Manuel
Neuer, who had no chance to keep out Carles Puyol's powerful
header in the 73rd minute that handed Spain the ticket for their
first World Cup final where they will face Netherlands.
"We just could not find ways to attack, to go forward. We
did not get the early goal as in the previous two matches and we
were lacking a bit of courage," he said.
Striker Miroslav Klose said the Spaniards gave them almost
no opportunities to get possession and launch their trademark
"We could not play our game tonight," said Klose, who can
still equal former Brazil forward Ronaldo's World Cup record
goal tally of 15 in Germany's third-place playoff match on
Saturday against Uruguay in Port Elizabeth.
"We tried to get into the one-on-ones quickly but by the
time we got there the ball was already gone," said Klose, who
has scored 14 goals in three World Cups.
"They had a lot of possession and we were made to run a lot
but credit to Spain who deserved to win tonight," said the
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