Germany 2-1 Saudi Arabia: A game of two halves for the Germans

Germany 2-1 Saudi Arabia: A game of two halves for the Germans

Joachim Löw's side narrowly defeat the Saudis, in their final preparation game ahead of the World Cup.

Reecespiece
Reece O Brien
GermanyManuel Neuer (Ter Stegen, 45'); Joshua Kimmich (Matthias Ginter, 82'), Jerome Boateng (Niklas Süle, 45'), Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector; Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira; Thomas Müller (Julian Brandt, 74'), Julian Draxler, Marco Reus (Ilkay Gündogan, 57'); Timo Werner (7')(Mario Gomez, 62').
Saudi ArabiaAl Maiouf; Al Shahrani, Os. Hawsawi (OG. 43') (Ali Albulayhi, 83'), Om. Hawsawi, Al Harbi (Mohammed Al Burayk, 46'); Otayif (Hussain Al Mogahwi, 75'), Al Faraj (Abdullah Alkhaibari, 91'); Al Shehri, Al Dawsari (Hattan Babhir, 88'), Al Jassim; Al Muwallad ( Mohammad Al Sahlawi, 62')
SCORE1-0, min. 8, Werner. 2-0, min. 43., O. Hawsawi(OG.). 2-1, min. 84, Al Jassim.
REFEREESlavko Vinčić (SVN).

In the same week that Joachim Löw excluded Leroy Sané from the Germany World Cup squad, die Mannschaft showed exactly what they can do without him against Saudi Arabia - in the first half at least.

The German's showed us all exactly what they are capable of going forward, time and time again in the opening 45 minutes. 

Saudi Arabia fought back in the second half, however it wasn't enough to take down Germany. The Greens will inevitably take some confidence away from the game, after they showed to the world that they will not be a push over at the looming World Cup.

Though it wasn't the most impressive Germany performance all round, the match was a very good test run for what they can expect to face in the coming World Cup. 

Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly be the happier of the two sides, given their second half performance and it potentially could give them the belief they need ahead of playing on the world's biggest stage in Russia.

Germany in cruise control

It took Löw's side just three minutes to open the scoring - Joshua Kimmich played a lovely timed ball over the top of the Saudi Arabian back-line, to Marco Reus, cutting the ball back to Timo Werner who finished past Al-Mayoof off the bar.

Germany remained on top for the vast majority of the first half, and had a perfectly good goal ruled out as offside in the 42nd minute. Seconds later the German's had the ball in the net again, this time via a Omar Hawsawi own-goal - following Werner's ball across the box. 

The Saudi's had no threat on Manuel Neuer's goal, other than a 30-yard effort from Al-Jassam, in which the German shot-stopper dealt with, with ease. 


The German machine halted

Germany started out the first half seemingly stuck in first gear. The biggest story of the half, and possibly game was the boos in which Ilkay Gündogan received from the German fans, following something the Manchester City midfielder posted on social media. 

Despite what was going on in the stands, Gündogan actually came close on several occasions to put Germany even further ahead. 

It was clear that Low didn't want to risk too many players getting hurt, which led to him using several of his substitutions. The German's lacked a certain edge to their game going forward for large parts of the second half and were punished later on.

Saudi Arabia won a penalty in the 82nd minute, after Sami Khedira was deemed to have pulled the eventual goal scorer Al Jassam down, inside the box. Al Sahlawi took the penalty which was saved by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, however the ball rebounded back into the path of Al Jassam as he put the ball into the empty net.

All of Germany's hard work was nearly undone in the 91st minute when they allowed two Saudi attackers in clear on goal, unfortunately for The Falcons they were unable to convert. 

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