A new look Germany side could only manage a 1-1 friendly draw with an equally changed Serbia side on Wednesday in their last match before the start of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
After a tepid opening 12 minutes it was the visitors who struck first through in form striker Luka Jovic. Adem Ljajic’s corner was deflected through to the unmarked Eintracht Frankfurt striker who nodded past Manuel Neuer to hand Serbia a surprise lead.
An improved Germany emerged after the break with the introduction of ?Marco Reus, with chances falling to ?Manchester City duo ?Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan – the latter having an effort cleared off the line. The equaliser Germany’s dominance deserved came with 21 minutes remaining when Leroy Goretzka skipped a challenge and fired empathically past Dmitrovic.
Key Talking Point
Low made it clear, after the dust had settled on Germany’s disastrous World Cup campaign, that going forward it would be a transformed national side going forward. The likes of Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller would no longer feature in the international fold and thus the plethora of German youth talent would get their chance – only three of the World Cup squad retaining their place for Wednesday night’s team.
The friendly provided Low with the best opportunity to test his experimental team before Euro 2020 qualification began, yet what he saw in the first half will have worried both him and German supporters. They were cut apart by a slick Serbia side and looked more than suspect at the back. Werner was brilliantly denied an equaliser but Die Mannschaft were fortunate to be behind by just one goal at half time.
There was an improvement after the break as Reus was brought on for the hosts but it is clear to see that Germany are most definitely in the teething stages of their rebuilding. They deservedly drew level and on numerous occasions came close to finding a winner, as Low watched on at a classic ‘game of two halves’.
Germany currently level with Serbia is too much for me to handle right now
— English Football Fan (@godsavethekick) March 20, 2019
Germany had 20 shots, 10 on target in their 1-1 draw vs Serbia (8 shots, 1 OT). Hats down and congrats to Serbia!
But Germany – wtf happened with the best team in the world? poor world cup, poor nations league… lets see if forcefully retiring older players will help.
— A red girl? (@UpTheReds2007) March 20, 2019
Starting XI: Neuer (6); Klostermann (7), Sah (5), Sule (6), Halstenburg (6); Kimmich (6), Gundogan (6), Brandt (5), Havertz (6), Sane (6); Werner (6).
Substitutes: Ter Stegen (6), Reus (7), Goretzka (7), Kehrer (N/A).
STAR MAN – Lukas Klostermann
The experimental side put out at the Volkswagen Arena is unquestionably a work in progress, but the RB Leipzig player will have offered his manager a good insight into where he wants to take this team moving forward.
Key Talking Point
Mladen Krstajic’s side underperformed last year after they were eliminated from the 2018 World Cup in the group stages in another disappointing international tournament.
They had their chance to show improvement against a much changed German side and could consider themselves unlucky to head into half time just one goal in front. The Eagles spurned some excellent opportunities to extend their lead and ultimately paid the price as a resurgent Mannschaft side emerged after the break.
A run out against top opposition should prepare Serbia for a daunting trip to Portugal to face ?Cristiano Ronaldo and co in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier – as there were certainly positives to take from Wednesday’s clash.
Starting XI: Dmitrovic (8); Bogosavac (7), Milenkovic (7), Spajic (7), Rukavina (8); Maksimovic (8), Ljajic (8), Gacinovic (6), Milinkovic-Savic (7), Lazovic (7); Jovic (7)
Substitutes: Radonjic (6), Lukic (5), Mitrovic (6), Zivkovic (N/A), Jovicic (N/A), Pavkov (-5).
STAR MAN –
His link up play with his fellow midfielders was excellent in the first half, yet he should have put his side two goals to the good only to sky an effort over the bar when played through one on one. As Germany dominated the second half, the on-loan Besiktas forward struggled to make an impact as his side’s goalkeeper played the starring role, however his contribution was solid.
?Germany kick off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a tough trip away to a resurgent Netherlands side on Sunday.
Meanwhile Serbia have an equally daunting task facing them as they travel to Portugal in their first match of the Euro 2020 qualifying