Soaked Loew hails Ger­many’s ris­ing Con­fed Cup stars

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SAINT PETERS­BURG: Joachim Loew has hailed Ger­many’s next gen­er­a­tion of stars af­ter beat­ing Chile 1-0 in Sun­day’s Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup fi­nal-but says the chal­lenge is to de­fend the World Cup next year.

Lars Stindl’s sim­ple tap-in was enough to seal Ger­many’s vic­tory in Sun­day’s fi­nal in St Peters­burg as the youth­ful world cham­pi­ons lifted the Con­fed Cup for the first time.

Ger­many’s head coach cut a soggy fig­ure at the post-match press con­fer­ence when his play­ers stormed the stage and show­ered him. “I am im­mensely proud of this team, we have only been to­gether for three-and-ahalf weeks,” said Loew in a beer-soaked shirt. “You could feel some­thing was hap­pen­ing in train­ing, we came to­gether and it’s a re­ally de­served win.”

Loew took a gam­ble by leav­ing firstchoice stars like Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos and Me­sut Ozil at home and bring­ing in­ex­pe­ri­enced young­sters to Russia. Ger­many’s cap­tain Ju­lian Draxler was voted the Con­fed Cup’s player of the tour­na­ment and striker Timo Werner fin­ished as the top scorer in Russia with three goals and two as­sists. Ger­man foot­ball has a bright fu­ture af­ter their Un­der-21 team were crowned Euro­pean cham­pi­ons on Fri­day in Poland. How­ever, head coach Loew says the hard work for his ris­ing stars is just be­gin­ning as they bid to earn a place in die Mannschaft’s squad for next year’s World Cup.

Only three of the Con­fed Cup win­ning team-Jonas Hec­tor, Joshua Kim­mich and Ju­lian Draxler-are first-choice starters. “De­spite our success here and with the ju­niors in Poland, we’ll still have to re­con­firm our vic­to­ries next year (at the World Cup), but the job starts now, the work is just be­gin­ning,” said Loew. “The young ones are only just com­ing up, this is the first tour­na­ment for many of these play­ers. “They have done well, but stay­ing at the top is an­other mat­ter and we will have to work hard to de­fend our ti­tle next year.

“The team had to fight back, the Chileans are very ro­bust and things were heat­ing up in the sec­ond half, we were fight­ing for ev­ery me­tre to de­fend our lead.

“It was a magic match for our young play­ers, they haven’t had much ex­pe­ri­ence, but they showed their sin­gle-minded de­ter­mi­na­tion, which was quite im­pres­sive.”

Chile were lucky not to have de­fender Gon­zalo Jara sent off for el­bow­ing Werner in the face dur­ing the sec­ond half, but de­spite a re­view by the video as­sis­tant ref­eree (VAR), Jara was only booked. “I didn’t see it from where I was stand­ing, but the VAR was con­sulted and I saw the re­ply,” said Loew.

“It could have been wor­thy of a red card and I think if a ref­eree sees some­thing like that, he could and should have dis­missed him.” — AFP

FRANK­FURT: Joachim Loew (R), head coach of the Ger­man na­tional foot­ball team, the pres­i­dent of the Ger­man Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Rein­hard Grindel (C) and play­ers of the team leave the plane af­ter ar­riv­ing at the air­port in Frank­furt am Main, western Ger­many, yes­ter­day, one day af­ter they won the 2017 Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup foot­ball tour­na­ment.— AFP

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