Bring on England, says German boss Loew

Germany coach Joachim Loëw admitted he is relishing the prospect of facing old enemies England in Bloemfontein on Sunday with a World Cup quarterfinal place at stake.

“The round of 16 game [against England] will be a class encounter, we are looking forward to it,” said Loëw.

Germany made sure of their place in the next round when midfielder Mesut Ozil’s second-half strike gave them a 1-0 win over Ghana at Soccer City on Wednesday and top spot in Group D.

German Football Federation (DFB) president Theo Zwanziger said the national team had faced huge pressure as Germany have never been knocked out of the group stages at a World Cup.

With those schackles now off, Zwanziger said he expects a more free-flowing performance against England.

‘It will be a classic’
“England will be a big hurdle, but it will be a classic,” said Zwanziger, who admitted Germany had been stunned by their 1-0 loss to Serbia which had put a question mark over their qualification.

“This team has long had a hard time. I had the feeling that we were missing some self-confidence,” he said.

“Ghana were not a top team, but we have achieved our minimum goal, so now I think we will see an improved performance.”

In 31 games between the two European powers, Germany have 10 wins, England have 15 with six draws.

Few English fans will need reminding it was Germany who were beaten 4-2 at Wembley when captain Bobby Moore lifted the 1966 World Cup on home soil.

Germans have the upper hand
But Germany have held the upper hand at major tournaments since, winning the nail-biting penalty shoot-out in Turin to win the 1990 World Cup semifinal on their way to the title.

And it was England defender Gareth Southgate’s missed penalty at Wembley which saw Germany win the Euro ’96 semifinal before the Germans won the final with current team manager Oliver Bierhoff scoring the winning goal.

The current crop of Germany’s rising stars are eager to take on Fabio Capello’s side and they showed nerves of steel as Ozil’s strike sealed the 1-0 win over Ghana.

The 21-year-old admitted he was fired up to hit the back of the net after wasting a first-half opportunity to beat Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

‘We fought until the end’
“I could have already made it 1-0 in the first-half, so I was a bit annoyed with myself,” said Ozil. “I was disappointed, but I knew that I would score a goal. I was glad I had a second chance.

“We knew that it will be very difficult against Ghana, but we fought until the end.”

Delighted Loëw said he never doubted Ozil’s precocious talent.

“I told him in the half-time break — you’ve still got a goal in you,” he said.

“This was an incredibly intense game and not many things worked out for us. But we have now reached the next stage.” — AFP

Ryland James
Ryland James
AFP sports journalist based in Berlin, tweeting about Fussball, Germany, die Mannschaft, Champions League and the Bundesliga. Views my own.
Advertisting

Golding opportunity for kleptocrats

Government must take steps to clean up the country’s dirty real estate market, which has long offered a safe haven for criminals

SAA’s rescue men fly in defiance

The airline’s business rescue practitioners ignored a warning not to announce route closures and possible job cuts ahead of a restructuring plan
Advertising

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it