Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Saudi Arabia feeling confident after defeat to Germany

Germany 2 Saudi Arabia 1 Werner on target to end winless run Saudi Arabia feeling confident after defeat to Germany
Kristopher Love | 11 June, 2018, 17:21

Germany's goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen denied Mohammad Al-Sahlawi a penalty but Taisir Al-Jassim took on the rebound and slotted home.

Players of Germany celebrate after winning the worldwide friendly match between Germany and Saudi Arabia at Bay Arena on June 8, 2018 in Leverkusen, Germany.

They have been drawn in Group F alongside Mexico, Sweden, and South Korea, and open their campaign against the Mexicans at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on June 17. It is predicted that Germany has more chance to win this friendly match.

Striker Almuwallad was unable to turn home from close range as Saudi Arabia's counter-attacking threat became increasingly prevalent. Next week we'll be sharper, more dynamic and have even more power'.

It was their first win in six matches but the Germans, who leave for Russian Federation in four days, rarely put their foot on the gas, seemingly fearful of any last-minute injuries, while the Saudis confirmed their good form heading into the World Cup. On Friday, they played with fear and showed too much respect, allowing Germany's frontline of Timo Werner, Marco Reus, Julian Draxler and Thomas Muller to toy with them.

Gundogan and Mesut Ozil, who also met Turkey's president in London last month, have both been criticised by German fans and contingents of the German press.

At the other end, striker Fahad Al-Muwallad sent a low shot just wide.

But when Gundogan emerged as a second-half substitute at the BayArena, his every touch was roundly booed by those in attendance.

Friday's game was the team's first home global since the scandal, and while Ozil missed the match through injury, Gundogan made an appearance from the substitutes' bench in the 57th minute and was subjected to booing for the remainder of the game.

"For a national player to be whistled - that helps nobody", the coach said after the game.

Manchester City playmaker Gundogan was jeered by supporters during last Saturday's 2-1 loss to Austria following his meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Juan Antonio Pizzi's side opens the tournament against host Russian Federation in Moscow on Thursday.

World champions Germany survived a late scare to see off Saudi Arabia 2-1 on Friday and claim a first victory this year, putting a five-game winless run behind them as they finalised their World Cup preparations.

Croatia battled back from an Ismaila Sarr opener to defeat Senegal 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric and Switzerland continued their impressive form with a 2-0 win over Japan.

"I'm not anxious because I know we're going to keep on improving".

Iran scored a late victor to defeat Lithuania 1-0, while Poland blew a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Chile, who did not qualify for Russian Federation.

Pleasingly from a German perspective, captain Manuel Neuer kept a clean sheet in his 45-minute spell in goal.