The duck is broken...

The Jogi Löw era has brought much success, and the raw statistics bear this out. However, the results in friendly fixtures over this otherwise successful period have not been that great, mainly on account of the Nationaltrainer’s use of these games as platforms for squad tinkering and experimentation. Since the World Cup finals in 2010 and prior to this evening’s game against Uruguay, the Mannschaft’s record in friendlies had looked as follows:

Denmark (A) 2-2
Sweden (A) 0-0
Italy (H) 1-1
Australia (H) 1-2

Thankfully this run of four friendly matches without a win ended yesterday evening against a spirited Uruguayan side at 1899 Hoffenheim’s impressive Rhein-Neckar Arena in Sinsheim, with Löw’s side fashioning a well-worked yet well-deserved 2-1 win. The first-half display was particularly impressive, with on-form marksman Mario Gómez scoring an excellently-taken sixteenth international goal and impressive Mainz 05 starlet André Schürrle finding the back of the net for the first time in national colours with a sweetly-struck shot from the edge of the box.

The superb first-half performance was followed by a slightly more laboured second forty-five minutes, with the Uruguayans coming back into the game following a series of blunders in the German defence – something that will need to be looked at before the two upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers against Austrian in Vienna and Azerbaijan in Baku.

Joachim Löw provided himself with something of a selection dilemma when Gómez opened the scoring – does he stick with the in-form Bayern man for the Austria game or does he maintain his faith in club team-mate Miroslav Klose? The money is on Miro starting against Austria on Friday, and given that the Nationaltrainer is unlikely to change the structure and formation of the side it looks as though Gómez will be on the bench, at least at the start. André Schürrle might also have won a place in Friday’s starting line-up with his high-quality all-round performance, though he is but one of an impressive list of talented midfielders.

Other points of note: when Klose replaced Mesut Özil at the beginning of the second half, he moved onto 109 international caps, ahead of Jürgen Klinsmann and into second place on the all-time list behind Lothar Matthäus. At the other end of the career scale, the sixty-sixth minute saw another new name make its way into the DFB books when Schalke 04’s Benedikt Höwedes came on for skipper Philipp Lahm.

v Uruguay, Rhein-Neckar Arena, Sinsheim (Friendly International) 29.05.2011

2-1 (2-0)
Gómez 20., Schürrle 35. / Gargano 48.

Team: Neuer – Lahm (c) (66. Höwedes*), A. Friedrich (66. Badstuber), Hummels, Schmelzer – Rolfes, Kroos (79. Träsch) – Schürrle (58. Podolski), Özil (46. Klose), Th. Müller (79. Götze) – Gómez

* Full international debut

Referee: Olegário Manuel Bartolo F. Benquerenca (Portugal)
Assistants: Bertino Cunha Miranda (Portugal), João Ferreira Santos (Portugal)
Fourth Official: Christian Dingert (Germany)

Yellow Cards: – / Suarez
Red Cards: – / –

Attempts on Target: 9 / 12
Attempts off Target: 6 / 3
Corners: 5 / 9
Fouls Committed: 8 / 7

Attendance: 25,655

The duck is broken…
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