Buoy­ant Ger­many set sights on N Ire­land

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ger­many coach Joachim Loew has called ‘same again’ for to­mor­row’s next World Cup qual­i­fier against North­ern Ire­land fol­low­ing his side’s de­mo­li­tion of the Czech Repub­lic.

Thomas Mueller scored twice and Toni Kroos also net­ted as Ger­many dom­i­nated the Czech Repub­lic with a 3-0 win on Satur­day night. It was an im­pres­sive dis­play from the hosts in Ham­burg and the score­line could have been much higher as Ju­lian Draxler, Mario Goetze and Mueller all missed clear chances.

Now Loew wants the same per­for­mance against North­ern Ire­land in Hanover to pre­serve their per­fect record and stay top of Group C. “We need the same de­ter­mi­na­tion, the same amount of run­ning and the same pre­ci­sion in our passes,” said Loew.

Ger­many’s head coach says he ex­pects the Ir­ish, who beat min­nows San Marino 4-0 in Belfast on Satur­day in the same group, to be “even more cau­tious” than the Czechs.

“They (the Czechs) tried to in­ter­fere with our game, at least early on, and so we have to put in ex­actly the same sort of dis­play to be suc­cess­ful (against the Ir­ish),” said Loew.

“You could see af­ter an hour that we had run our op­po­nents ragged.” The 56-year-old said he was pleased to see the likes of Mueller and Borus­sia Dort­mund’s Mario Goetze, who was play­ing up front with Mario Gomez in­jured, at­tack­ing deep in the box.

Loew said he was happy with the con­stant pres­sure his side ex­erted on the Czech goal to com­bat the vis­i­tors’ dogged de­fence.

He ex­pects the Ir­ish to de­fend just as deep in Hanover. Mueller has yet to score a goal in the Bun­desliga for his club Bay­ern Mu­nich this sea­son af­ter six Ger­man league matches.

But hav­ing also net­ted twice in the 3-0 win over Nor­way at the start of Septem­ber, he al­ready has four goals in their two 2018 World Cup qual­i­fiers.

‘IN­NER VOICE ‘

The self-as­sured 27-year-old, the top scorer at the 2010 World Cup, was full of irony af­ter some sug­ges­tions in the Ger­man me­dia of a mini cri­sis given his lack of league goals for Bay­ern.

“I was in a tragic sit­u­a­tion be­fore the game, so I was re­ally glad I could get out of this mess,” he said, tongue planted firmly in cheek, hav­ing now scored 36 goals in 80 in­ter­na­tion­als.

“The foot­ball busi­ness is like that some­times,” he added hav­ing failed to score for Ger­many at both the fi­nals of Euro 2016 and 2012.

“I try to let my­self be in­flu­enced as lit­tle as pos­si­ble by the pos­i­tive as well as the neg­a­tive mo­ments and just con­tinue on my way. “I lis­ten to my coaches and my in­ner voice, and if a good tip from a jour­nal­ist is there, I will lis­ten to it too.”

The win in Ham­burg was an im­pres­sive team per­for­mance, es­pe­cially from cen­tre-backs Mats Hum­mels and Jerome Boateng, who re­peat­edly shut down the Czechs at­tack and put in a se­ries of superb passes.

Af­ter Ger­many suf­fered de­feats away to Poland and the Repub­lic of Ire­land in their Euro 2016 qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign, 3-0 wins over both Nor­way and now the Czechs have buoyed the team. “Jerome and I kept find­ing good so­lu­tions to prob­lems at the back,” said Hum­mels.

“That was partly be­cause our team-mates put in some good lines of run­ning. “We didn’t start our last qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign so well (af­ter a 2-0 de­feat to Poland early in the cam­paign) and we re­ally want to do things dif­fer­ently this year.

“At the mo­ment, we are very fo­cussed and things look good.” — AFP

— AFP

AM­S­TER­DAM: France’s na­tional foot­ball team play­ers take part in a train­ing ses­sion at the Am­s­ter­dam Arena in Am­s­ter­dam yes­ter­day, on the eve of the FIFA World Cup 2018 qual­i­fy­ing foot­ball match against Nether­lands.

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