Just over a week after their 7-0 World Cup qualification “warm up” against San Marino in Nürnberg, the Mannschaft are in Russia to kick off their Confederations Cup group campaign against Australia in Sochi. Having played host to the Winter Olympic Games in 2014, the southern Russian city is considerably warmer as the World and Asian champions line up for their their fourth competitive encounter.
Germany have a record of three wins from three matches against the Socceroos in tournament competition, with a 11-3 goal record. The first meeting between the two countries would come in the 1974 World Cup on home soil where Helmut Schön’s eased to a 3-0 win, and in 2010 Joachim Löw’s side hit four without reply in the World Cup in South Africa. Between these two meetings there was a meeting in the 2005 edition of the Confederations Cup, where Jürgen Klinsmann’s young German team came out on top on a tight seven-goal thriller in Frankfurt.
The two teams have met five times in all, with Australia having the better of things in two recent friendly encounters. Having registered their first victory with a 2-1 result in Mönchengladbach in 2011, the Socceroos then earned a 2-2 draw in Kaiserslautern in 2015.
Jogi Löw’s side come into the competition on the back of a ten-match unbeaten run that has seen them concede just two goals. Ange Postecoglou’s side by contrast have not had the greatest buildup to the tournament, working hard to overcome Saudi Arabia 3-2 in a World Cup qualifier before suffering a 4-0 defeat in Melbourne against Brazil.
With Kevin Trapp and Marc-André ter Stegen playing the last two matches, Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno starts between the sticks, behind an experienced – relatively speaking – four-man defence. All four of the back line have won more than a dozen caps, with 1. FC Köln’s Jonas Hector making his thirtieth appearance in the Nationaltrikot.
Leon Goretzka partners Sebastian Rudy in a new-look defensive midfield partnership, with Julian Brandt and Lars Stindl joining skipper Julian Draxler in a three-man offensive unit. Up front is 1899 Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner, fresh from his hat-trick against San Marino.
In contrast to the high temperatures hitting Western and Central Europe at the moment, it is just over twenty degrees Celsius on the Black Sea coast. The one big disappointment is the crowd, which is sparse to say the least.
1 min. Australia, all in yellow, kick off. The Mannschaft are in their familiar white shirts and black shorts.
2 mins. There are a few iffy moments as Germany mess around at the back in trying to walk the ball out of their own half.
3 mins. Wagner goes down in the Australian penalty area, but American referee Mark Geiger waves play on.
5 mins. A lovely move down the right from the men in white, and Brandt charges into the opposition penalty area. His cut back inside is perfectly delivered into the centre of the box, and an unmarked Stindl calmly sweeps the ball into the net with his right foot past Mathew Ryan to score his first international goal. The Australian ‘keeper has no chance, and the Mannschaft are in front. 1-0.
Lars Stindl sweeps Germany into an early lead with his first international goal
7 mins. Australia are awarded a free kick out on the right, but it is easily cleared.
10 mins. Put at ease with the early goal, Germany are now starting to pass the ball around nicely.
13 mins. The Aussies are seeing of the ball now, but Draxler pinches the ball from Aaron Mooy.
14 mins. Hector is fouled deep into the Australian half out on the left. Draxler lifts the free kick into the box, but Goretzka’s header floats over the target.
16 mins. Another charge down the right, this time from Goretzka. The Schalke man’s cross is perfectly delivered, and Wagner flies in to apply the finish after getting in front of his marker. That should be 2-0, but the big striker’s header flies wide.
18 mins. Hector wins a corner after putting pressure on Matthew Leckie, and the move ends in ugly fashion withe a shot from Rudy that flies high into the stands.
21 mins. Another lovely move. Joshua Kimmich sweeps the ball out to Goretzka, whose first time pass slices through the Australian defence to find the fast moving Brandt. The winger looks to send in a cross but slips, before recovering to fire a shot just inside the near post. Ryan makes the save and the ball goes behind. There’s nothing from the resulting corner.
23 mins. Another surgical pass from Goretzka finds Wagner, who is just onside. The Hoffenheim man takes the ball inside, but has perhaps one touch too many before he pulls the ball just wide of the far post with his left foot.
27 mins. Stindl and Hector combine nicely, and win another corner. It is taken short by Hector, and Draxler finds Brandt in space. The ball is lashed towards goal and is on target, but Ryan beats it away.
29 mins. Goretzka finds Draxler at the edge of the opposition box, but the skipper cannot control the ball and Australia clear their lines. Germany are completely dominating proceedings, and it is surely only a matter of time before they score a second.
31 mins. Draxler takes the ball from his own penalty area deep into the opposition half, but Brandt’s cross is far too strong as he looks to find Wagner at the far post.
34 mins. Another intricate move sees Draxler combine nicely with Stindl through the middle of the pitch, and Brandt is unable to control the skipper’s pass inside the Australian penalty area.
36 mins. Brandt is again guilty of taking a poor touch as a swift break down the right breaks down.
37 mins. Australia win a free kick out on the left, and the German defence are left looking like statues as the ball is floated into the box. Trent Sainsbury gets their first as the , but can only glance his header wide. That was an excellent chance for what would have been a goal completely against the run of play.
39 mins. Kimmich finds Stindl, who flies down the right before sending in a low cross towards Draxler. The German skipper is in the perfect position to execute the simplest of finishes, but Leckie slides in to lift the ball over the crossbar.
41 mins. What a mess. Draxler needlessly gives the ball away, and Tom Rogic’s first time snapshot ricochets off Shkodran Mustafi before he gets a second chance. The Celtic striker’s gets a decent contact with his left foot, and the ball goes straight through Leno before hitting the back of the net. Having been completely outplayed, that was the only way the Socceroos were going to back back into the contest. 1-1.
43 mins. A lovely move from the Mannschaft sees them back in the Australian half, and the excellent Goretzka is upended by Massimo Luongo after playing a quick one-two with Stindl. A clear foul, and the referee points to the penalty spot.
44 mins. Draxler steps up to take the kick, and calmly places it to Ryan’s left. The Aussie ‘keeper dives the wrong way, and Germany are back in front. 2-1.
Julian Draxler scores from the penalty spot, a minute before half time
Germany should have put this game to bed already, but from nothing Australia were back in it – for all of three minutes. Hopefully that should be a wake-up call for Jogi Löw’s team, who can very easily add another two or three in the second half.
There’s a change for Australia, with Robbie Kruse coming on for Luongo.
46 mins. Germany get the second half underway. The first move is made by the Aussies though, and Kruse is flagged offside.
48 mins. Kimmich shows great determination to keep the ball in play, before delivering a perfectly weighted pass for the advancing Goretzka. The Schalke man just needs to set himself before lashing the ball into the net with his right foot, beating Ryan at his near post to score his first international goal at senior level. 3-1.
Leon Goretzka finishes a fantastic attacking move to score the Mannschaft’s third
51 mins. Rudy and Brandt combine nicely down the right and create space for Goretzka, whose shot from just outside the box is just over the target.
56 mins. Goretzka brings down Rogic right at the edge of the German box, and is shown the yellow card. Mooy’s shot is smacked straight against the wall, and Rogic’s shot is fumbled by Leno. Tomi Juric is there to pounce on the loose ball, and the Aussie have pulled a goal back. The referee consults his video assistants as there is a hint of a handball from Juric, but the goal stands. 3-2.
58 mins. Kimmich is all over Aziz Behich, but the referee waves play on. That could easily have been a penalty there, but the video referees seem to think it is OK. Meanwhile, there’s a change up front for the Mannschaft as Timo Werner replaces the off-key Wagner.
63 mins. Jogi Löw makes his second change, as Brandt makes way for Niklas Süle.
64 mins. Sainsbury is booked for a foul on Werner.
68 mins. The best move from the Aussies so far, as they advance down the right at pace. The cross from Leckie is collected by Leno, who manages to keep hold of the ball.
71 mins. The next charge for Australia. James Troisi is on for Rogic.
73 mins. Troisi has a shot from just outside the German box which is on target, but Leno flies to his left to make the save.
74 mins. Some poor defending from Australia allows Werner to have a shot at goal, and the Leipzig striker works hard to keep his marker at bay before hitting the base of the left post with his right foot.
78 mins. The final change of the afternoon for the Mannschaft, as Stindl makes way for Emre Can.
78 mins. This is getting a little worrying now, as Australia are getting a sniff of this. Juric works hard in the German box to find Kruse, who cannot get enough on his shot. Leno gathers.
80 mins. Australia break the offside trap and there’ a sniff of an opportunity for Juric, but Leno is fast off his line to clear the danger.
85 mins. Things have gone a little flat for the men in white, and Australia will be throwing everything forward for the last five minutes. This match, and the three points, whould have long been in the bag, but a combination of profligacy in front of goal and two dreadful errors from Leno have kept things interesting.
86 mins. The final substitution for the Socceroos, as Juric makes way for veteran Tim Cahill.
88 mins. The men in yellow advance down the left, and Mustafi does well to out Behich off. The ball is with Leno.
89 mins. Werner makes a shift down the right and finds Goretzka, whose shot is hit harmlessly over the crossbar.
90+1 mins. Australia have a corner, but Germany clear. Werner is the only man in the opposition half, and he charges through the middle and towards the opposition box, managing to stave off a number of challenges. With no team mates in sight, he has a shot that flies wide of the left post. There will be four minutes of additional time.
90+4 mins. The final whistle blows. Germany have won the match, but that has been far more fraught than it should have been. South American champions Chile are up next, and Jogi Löw’s men will really need to tighten things up at the back and sharpen things up front.
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, 19.06.2017
Stindl 5., Draxler pen 44., Goretzka 48. / Rogic 41., Juric 56.
Germany: Leno – Kimmich, Mustafi, Rüdiger, Hector – Goretzka, Rudy – Brandt (63. Süle), Stindl (78. Can), Draxler (c) – Wagner (57. Werner)
Australia: Ryan – Degenek, Sainsbury, Wright – Luongo (46. Kruse), Milligan (c) – Mooy, Rogic (71. Troisi) – Leckie, Behich – Juric (86. Cahill)
Referee: Mark Geiger (United States)
Assistants: Joe Fletcher (Canada), Charles Morgante (United States)
Fourth Official: Wilmar Roldan (Colombia)
Video Assistant Referees: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan), Alexander Guzmán (Colombia)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal)
Yellow Cards: Goretzka / Sainsbury
Red Cards: – / –
Ball Possession: 59% / 41%
Attempts on Target/Blocked: 8 / 7
Attempts off Target: 10 / 2
Corners: 4 / 1
Fouls Committed: 7 / 12
Man of the Match: Julian Draxler (Germany)