German youngsters shine in friendly win over World Cup hosts | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.09.2009
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German youngsters shine in friendly win over World Cup hosts

Coach Joachim Loew took another step toward fine-tuning the German national soccer squad with a well played 2-0 friendly match victory over South Africa in Leverkusen on Saturday.

Germany's Mehmut Ozil in action

Germany's Ozil was the man of the match

After the match, Loew said he had a "good feeling" about his team's performance and added that it was a "promising signal for the upcoming qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup."

Loew stressed that "besides the result, the team played a good game. I saw a lot of good combinations; a lot of things worked well. There was much more flow and drive in the match."

Loew can be happy about a number of things, not least of which with the young players he tested on the pitch.

Talented midfielder Mesut Ozil was impressive coming off the European U21 title he helped win for the German side, Loew said.

Germany shows speed and power

Against South Africa, Ozil set up Germany's opener for striker Mario Gomez before scoring the second goal himself in only his third full international. The 20-year-old generated the kind of pace and creativity the national team has been lacking for a number of years.

Klose and Loew having a chat

Klose (l) at a practice session talking to Coach Loew

Ozil said he had gone into the game wanting "to step on the gas, and today everything went my way." But he also had praise for striker Miroslav Klose, who gave him a "super pass," which he just had to "push into the net" for his goal.

Ozil looked like a natural fit alongside Captain Michael Ballack in midfield and his performance could not come at a better time for Germany, which is on top of Group Four, a point ahead of Russia, in the World Cup qualifications. Germany plays Azerbaijan on Wednesday, before completing their matches against Russia and Finland in the coming weeks.

Loew called the victory a "good start into the next few weeks" and "a clear improvement in performance.

"If we are more forceful and dynamic, we will create more opportunities," he added.


Editor: Nick Amies

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