Werner wants to keep up the good work

Striker con­fi­dent Ger­many can over­come Mex­ico

The National - News - Sport - - FOOTBALL -

Timo Werner is eye­ing Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup suc­cess with Ger­many and hopes his two goals against Cameroon are enough to see him start Thurs­day’s semi-fi­nal with Mex­ico.

The 21-year-old for­ward sealed the world cham­pi­ons’ 3-1 win in Sochi with a sec­ond-half dou­ble on Sun­day by head­ing home Joshua Kim­mich’s cross, then drilled in a sec­ond to calm Ger­man nerves just af­ter Vin­cent Aboubakar net­ted Cameroon’s con­so­la­tion goal. The win over Cameroon means Ger­many stay in Sochi to play Mex­ico for a place in Sun­day’s fi­nal in Saint Peters­burg with Chile and Por­tu­gal to meet the day be­fore in Kazan’s other semi-fi­nal.

“Mex­ico will be tough to play, but we have also been good so far and I think we have a chance to go be­yond the semi-fi­nals,” RB Leipzig’s Werner said.

“We’re in the semis, so the next aim is to reach the fi­nal.

“To say we want to win the fi­nal would be over am­bi­tious, but it wouldn’t be enough just to play in the third-place match.”

The striker has a sharp eye for goal and jus­ti­fied Joachim Low’s faith with a man-of-the-match per­for­mance, which could be re­warded with an­other start against Mex­ico.

“Timo Werner re­ally put in a lot of leg work,” Ger­many’s man­ager said. “At the start, our at­tacks some­how didn’t come to much, on so he wasn’t able to re­ally shoot on tar­get.

“It was a dif­fer­ent story af­ter the break, he was much more present in the box, that’s where he’s dan­ger­ous, he has a killer in­stinct.

“Both goals were nicely taken and he re­ally earned them.”

Werner is one of only three play­ers have now so far scored twice at this Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup.

He is in the com­pany of Por­tu­gal’s Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and team­mate Lars Stindl, whose place Werner took in Ger­many’s start­ing line-up against Cameroon. The in­ex­pe­ri­enced Ger­mans made a ner­vous, hes­i­tant start in Sochi and af­ter a frus­trat­ing firsthalf of missed half chances and scuffed shots, Werner’s game clicked. “I needed some time be­fore scor­ing, I was a bit an­noyed be­cause lead­ing up to [the goals], I had a cou­ple of sit­u­a­tion which weren’t ideal,” Werner said. “I got a cou­ple of good passes, so I have to thank those guys who pro­vided those.

“The man-of-the-match award is a great dis­tinc­tion for me, I am happy we won in Sochi and can have an ex­tra day to pre­pare for the semi-fi­nal.

“Of course, the fact we can stay here helps, it’s nice to be by the sea.”

The first semi-fi­nal, be­tween Por­tu­gal and Chile, takes place to­mor­row. Chile man­ager Juan An­to­nio Pizzi hopes Charles Aran­guiz will be fit for the clash against Por­tu­gal af­ter the mid­field en­forcer suf­fered a knock against Aus­tralia.

A hard chal­lenge from Soc­ceroos vet­eran Tim Cahill clat­tered Aran­guiz, who had to be sub­sti­tuted at half time of Sun­day’s 1-1 draw in Moscow.

Alexan­der Hassen­stein / Getty Im­ages

Ger­man for­ward Timo Werner has ‘put in a lot of leg work’, ac­cord­ing to man­ager Joachim Low.

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