Germany's national team capped a year in which they came third in the World Cup with a limp goalless draw in Sweden. Still, the experimental team's new faces said they were grateful for the experience.
Hummels (r) wore the German jersey for the second time
Germany and Sweden tied 0-0 Wednesday night in an anti-climactic final international friendly of the year.
The game offered little to warm the hearts of the 22,000 spectators who braved the freezing weather and turned out at Gothenburg's Ullevi Stadium.
In the 70th minute, Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos missed the team's best chance at a goal with a long-distance shot at Swedish goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.
German fans were full of hope for national team coach Joachim Loew's newly-formed team, which included two debutants Marcel Schmelzer and Mario Goetze.
Schmelzer said after the game that playing the full 90 minutes was "very helpful" for him.
"It was fun, even if it was really cold here," he said. "The Swedes stood very strong, it was tough to get any chances."
Loew was happy with his young team's composure
Two other newbies, Mats Hummels and Kevin Grosskreutz, were wearing the German jersey for only the second time. Completely missing from the game were World Cup stars Philipp Lahm, Lukas Podolski, Mesut Oezil and Thomas Mueller.
Speaking after the game, Loew said he was "very happy" with the team, and that it was clear from the outset that the match would be a test of their patience.
"We gave an engaging performace," he said. "In some situations maybe there wasn't enough forceful playing going on."
The German national team plays does nto play again until February 9 against Italy in another friendly match.
Author: Andrew Bowen (SID, dpa)
Editor: Matt Hermann