Podolski salvages a draw for Germany against Australia | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 25.03.2015
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Podolski salvages a draw for Germany against Australia

Germany's late equalizer earned the world champions a draw at home to Australia with Reus and Podolski scoring in either half. Now, Joachim Löw's side will focus on the task of beating Georgia on Sunday.

Germany 2-2 Australia

(Reus 17', Podolski 81 - Troisi 40', Jedinak 50')

Germany's defensive experiment lasted the best part of 45 minutes. Out went the back-four in search of a new back-three model to follow in the wake of retirements of several key players in the summer.

Having led through Marco Reus, Germany was out-of-sync and went into the break sharing the spoils after James Troisi's equalizer. Things went from bad-to-worse as Mile Jedinak scored from a free-kick soon after, but substitute Lukas Podolski would salvage some pride before Germany's European Championships qualifier in Georgia.

Joachim Löw had six different players from the side that ended the 2014 year with a 1-0 win over Spain in November. Two noticeable returnees were Bayern Munich's Holger Badstuber who last played for the national team in 2012, while Ilkay Gundogan made the cut for his first appearance in 586 days.

Germany's defense would have their work cut-out in the early exchanges. Mathew Leckie, formerly of Gladbach and now of FC Ingolstadt, squeezed his shot past Ron-Robert Zieler but couldn't direct into the net. Löw's back-four naturally became a back-three when either Jonas Hector or Shkodran Mustafi supported the attack from the wing-back positions.

Freundschaftsspiel Deutschland Australien in Kaiserslautern

Benedikt Höwedes paid his respects to those killed in this week's Germanwings plane crash

On 16 minutes, Germany had the ball in the net: Reus deflecting a shot from Gundogan into the net - but the Dortmund striker was in an offside position. Less than 60 seconds later, Sami Khedira, the captain for the evening, carried the ball down the left-wing, sliding a ball into Reus for the 25-year-old to poke past Maty Ryan.

Roaring Reus

Reus was combining nicely with Mario Götze in attack, the former shooting off-target on 22 minutes. But despite the hints of uncertainty in Germany's defense, the warning signs weren't acknowledged as the Aussies equalized with five minutes to go in the first-half.

Germany failed to react to a quickly-taken set-piece; Nathan Burns' cross from the left-flank picking out Troisi who timed his run well before the 26-year-old midfielder headed past Zieler from close range.

Hannover's Zieler could do little to prevent Mile Jedinak, the Socceroos skipper, from converting an excellent free-kick from 25 yards, four minutes after the break. The DFB-team was generally more stable at the back with a four-man defense and the home side would go on to dominate most phases of the second period.

Yet Australia remained the liveliest on the counter. Ange Postecoglou's men passed up two chances after the goal: firstly, through Troisi again and then Leckie's header from Tommy Oar's cross was parried wide by Zieler.

Löw's side went on to level with less than 10 minutes to go as Lukas Podolski lashed the ball home from the rebound inside the box.

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