Germany are ready to be put on the spot
World champions hope to see off Mexico in semi-final
Germany are the kings of the penalty shoot-out – but the world champions hope to see off Mexico in today’s Confederations Cup semi-final without needing dreaded spot kicks.
The Germans have won all five penalty shoot-outs they have faced since 1976 at either World Cup finals or European championships.
Joachim Low’s team face the Mexicans in Sochi for a place in Sunday’s final in Saint Petersburg.
Having won their Confederations Cup group, Germany are on a 13-match unbeaten run, dating back just under a year to their Euro 2016 semi-final defeat to hosts France.
Left-back Jonas Hector said Germany’s young guns have not yet practised spot-kicks and hope to beat Mexico over the 90 minutes. “We would like to avoid this situation [penalties],” admitted Hector. “We haven’t specifically trained for it and we’ll take it as it comes.” Nevertheless, the Germans seem to have penalty-taking in their blood.
Their Under-21 team beat England 4-3 on penalties on Tuesday to book their place in tomorrow’s final at the European championships in Poland.
Low said he does not have a list of his top five penalty takers.
“Sometimes the players practise after training, but you can’t train for what will happen on the night,” the German manager said.
“If it happens, I will look at the faces of my players after the final whistle, take into account who is ready and who has missed them in the past, then make a decision.” The Germans expect a tough test against Mexico’s comeback kings. The Mexicans came from behind in all three of their group matches, beating both New Zealand and Russia 2-1 after drawing 2-2 with Portugal, when they twice equalised.
“It will be aggressive in a positive sense, it is how they have been playing for years,” Low
Germany defender Jonas Hector On taking penalties
said. “They hunt the ball with all their players and when they have it, they play it deep quickly.” Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio, who has chopped and changed his side so far, will be without suspended captain Andres Guardado. Low has promised changes with forward Lars Stindl, who has scored twice so far in Russia, expected to return along with left-back Hector. With Manuel Neuer missing the tournament after foot surgery, Low says Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be Germany’s goalkeeper for the rest of the competition. The Germans beat Mexico 4-3 when the teams last met in the third-place play-off at the 2005 Confed Cup in Germany.
They make no secret of their confidence and expect to reach Sunday’s final.
“I think in terms of gut feeling, we’re heading to St Petersburg,” said Low.
We haven’t specifically trained for it and we’ll take it as it comes
Germany’s Jonas Hector.