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Sports

Test run problems not worrying German team

Germany's football on Wednesday night was scatty at times and the fans weren't particularly impressed. Still, it doesn't look like Joachim Löw and his team are too worried, says DW's Andre Leslie in Kaiserslautern.

"Our team is half asleep," muttered one annoyed fan two rows back. It was halfway through the second half and, once again, another one of Germany's midfield passes had just gone astray.

There could be no denying it: on Wednesday night, the world's number one-ranked team looked almost overrun at times against an in-form Australian side keen to cause an upset.

If it's any consolation, the game wasn't to German coach Joachim Löw's taste either, even if he admitted it was “exciting” for the fans.

"When I look at the full 90 minutes as a coach, I would describe it as a hectic game of football though," Löw said to reporters after the game. "Many things didn't quite work out as we would have liked."

Best laid plans

In a way, it's no surprise. Germany's match against Australia was always going to be a genuine test run for the hosts. Löw's plan to trial three defenders at the back, as well as give game time to returning players like Holger Badstuber and Ilkay Gündogan, was a bit of a risk.

Despite the flock of journalists hanging on his every word this week and the sell out crowd in Kaiserslautern, Löw's strength lies in his belief in his masterplan. He didn't see the friendly game against Australia as the most important thing in the world right now.

That was made clearer by the 55-year-old starting his post-game press conference with the topic of the Germanwings plane crash on Tuesday, something he commented on the day before the game, too.

"This tragedy hit us all, it was a topic amongst all the players on Tuesday and Wednesday," he said. "Our condolences are with the families and we are feeling the pain that they are going through."

Admittedly, that's enough to make any friendly game – no matter what the result – become pretty insignificant very quickly.

Looking to Georgia

Still, as heartless as it may sound, the show has to go on for the DFB team. Wednesday's 2-2 draw was very real, as the beaming smiles of the Australian players after the game showed.

On Sunday, against Georgia in Tbilisi, Germany has to pick up points again as part for their European Championships qualifying campaign, especially if it wants to meet its bold target of topping its group. But, they'll be lucky to do so if they play like they did against Australia.

"At times we had too few guys at the back and the Australians outnumbered us during their counter-attacks. That shouldn't happen to us," German midfielder Ilkay Gündogan explained to DW, after the game in Kaiserslautern.

"But, we will be ready for Sunday and we'll talk about a few things before then too. We'll try to keep our attack just like it was here, while definitely trying to improve our defense."

That sounds like a good start.