< Mexico, 17 June 2018

South Korea, 27 June 2018 >


Saturday, 23 June 2018

World Cup 2018, Group F

"I told the team at half time that they needed to stay calm and hold their nerve."
18 June 2018 - 23 June 2018

Germany - Marco Reus 48', T. Kroos 90+5'
Sweden - Ola Toivonen 32'

With Sweden leading by a goal at half-time, Germany face an early exit from the competition should they fail to score in the second-half.

But in his 100th competitive game as Bundestrainer, Joachim Löw witnesses one of the most exciting, and crucial, stoppage time wins of his tenure.

Last gasp Kroos wonderstrike seals victory for Germany over Sweden

Toni Kroos' curler rescues Germany at the last against Sweden

"It was a fortunate victory - to get it with 10 men in injury time - but I think it was deserved, because we kept believing in ourselves. We showed our character. I said we had enough time to to get forward and get in behind the Swedish defence to create chances. They only had a couple of chances, which came about because of our sloppy passing. I am so pleased for Toni Kroos getting the goal. We did not give the ball away as much as we did against Mexico and with our playing style we are susceptible to giving away goals from misplaced passes. But we put them under a lot of pressure, and created openings.

Late Kroos winner brings Low's men back from the brink
Toni Kroos' late stunner puts Germany back in last-16 contention after beating Sweden

Germany rewarded for patience, says Loew

"I was very pleased for him [Kroos]," Loew said. "He was obviously involved in the mistake with the Swedes scoring the first goal. It was an unfortunate incident but what he did very well was this free kick in the dying minutes.
"Of course this was a thriller, full of emotions, a rollercoaster ride," Loew added.
"The last couple of minutes were full of drama but those matches exist in football. This is something that happens time and again and that is kind of the attractiveness for football fans that you have these matches."
Kroos, from zero to hero - from FIFA.com
Last-gasp Kroos cracker pulls ten-man Germany from the brink against Sweden - minute-by-minute analysis from schwarzundweiss.co.uk

"It was a thriller full of emotion - especially in the closing stages. We had Julian Brandt's shot, which hit the post, the chance with Mario Gomez's header. We tried everything in the last ten minutes and took off a defender despite being a man down. It was pure drama at the end of the game. But all do-or-die games at a tournament like this are balanced on a knife's edge. It's not the first time I've experienced something like this. It's definitely great for the neutrals to watch."

Joachim Löw: 'Germany still need Mesut Ozil'

"We have strong competition with us in the squad," Löw said."We will still need his creativity in the tournament."
"The competition for places in the team will run through the tournament. We will need Mesut Özil and Mats Hummels would have loved to have played, but the doctor said it would be too dangerous. We need him because of his experience and class, and I am glad he will probably be back for South Korea."

On Sebastian Rudy, who had to be substituted after receiving a blow to the nose "I think Sebastian Rudy has broken his nose. It started bleeding and did not stop, so we needed to get him out of the game. He might be able to play on Wednesday but we will have to see."

Sweden manager Janne Andersson clashes with Germany business manager Oliver Bierhoff

Germany boss Joachim Löw said: "Who made any gestures? Did I make a gesture? I didn't witness that. We were concentrated on other things.
"We fell into each others arms and just hugged each other. We were just elated. I didn't see any aggressive gestures at their bench at all."
Löw: "We always believed" - summary of post-match comments on dfb.de

Germany's refusal to admit defeat made their improbable win inevitable
Five things we learned from the Group H encounter in Sochi- To his credit, Joachim Löw was determined not to play it safe against Sweden, says the Independent
'From clinically dead to brimming with strength': Germany's press reacts

Toni Kroos's match-winner has rekindled Germany's love for the World Cup - by Raphael Honigstein
Germany hopeful of World Cup "turning point" after last-gasp win over Sweden

"Ärger und Entmutigung" - Löws Stresssignale lassen tief blicken
"Löw looks thoughtful: his eyes stare into the void, his hand in front of his mouth, his arm as a barrier in front of his body." - an 'expert on emotional intelligence' analyses Jogi's body language.

Looking forward to the next match against South Korea "The players were exhausted after the game, Marco Reus had cramps ten minutes before the final whistle. Jerome Boateng is unavailable [due to red card received in this match], Sebastian Rudy has a broken nose. We need one or two days to recover. Mats Hummels will likely be able to play, which would give us another option in defence."

In post-match interviews, Jogi would not be drawn on who their potential opponents in the Round of Sixteen. Germany first have to beat South Korea, he said, and there are other possible permutations in the other group (Group E). Switzerland or Serbia could easily progress, as well as Brazil.

FIFA Post-match press conference
Post-match interview on ARD

Match highlights from FIFA
Coach Cam Footage can be seen via my Facebook Group. Please ask to join!

Starting Line-Up:
Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Antonio Rüdiger, Jonas Hector (Julian Brandt), Toni Kroos, Sebastian Rudy (Ilkay Gündogan), Thomas Müller, Julian Draxler (Mario Gomez), Marco Reus, Timo Werner

There are four changes from the Mexico game - Antonio Rüdiger replaces the injured Mats Hummels and Jonas Hector returns from illness. Meanwhile Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira make way for Marco Reus and Sebastian Rudy.

Joachim Löw drops big names for Germany match against Sweden

The morning of the Sweden game dawned with plenty of dissections in the media as to what has gone wrong so far, and why. - 23 June 2018
Germany in crisis as Mesut Özil's 'Bling-bling gang' take on Bavarians
No pace, no dribbling - slow Germany desperately miss Sane's speed and trickery
Some couldn't even wait for the match itself before speculating:
Ende einer Ära: Tritt Joachim Löw bei WM-Aus zurück?

Training, Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, 22 June 2018

FIFA Pre-match Press Conference, 22 June 2018

"In training, the players have already shown me their hunger to make good for the last performance but training isn't what matters most of all. I'm certain that they'll perform tomorrow."

Naturally most of the questions asked pertained to the Mexico defeat and how the squad would manage to overcome that poor performance. He began by saying that the "two most important weapons will be to bring more energy and have different body language. That wasn't the confident team I know playing against Mexico. This World Cup is all about commitment and passion. Attitude plays a very, very important role. Desire on the day is the prerequisite for winning."

"Physically, the team is in good shape. I didn't feel we slacked off physically in the second half against Mexico. The loss to Mexico was a painful pill to swallow but we've looked back on the mistakes and put the right things in place in training. If we show our strengths on the pitch, the team will put in a good performance."

Jogi explained that Germany had played against defensive sides many times in qualifying. "We tend to play against very defensive sides. That's nothing new for us. Against Mexico, our offensive positional play was poor. Everyone wanted to somehow be involved in every attack. That meant there was too much space elsewhere. There are games like the Mexico one where you can't get away with that. We weren't up to scratch in all areas of the pitch. Therefore, it was important that we spoke about all these things in the past few days. We don't have to question our entire philosophy after one loss to Mexico. We have to make corrections and see why we made the errors we did."

On Sweden: "You can't prepare for certain players, you have to prepare for Sweden as a team. They have a clear unity on the pitch. They get the maximum out of all their players. They never give anything up, even when they're behind. Mentally, they are tough and they show that. Sweden may well defend differently to how they usually do. Our style of play won't change massively because of that but it'll be tweaked accordingly."

Jogi would not be drawn on his starting line-up for tomorrow, but did reveal that Mats Hummels probably would not be able to play. "He twisted his neck yesterday and it hasn't improved. I'm not expecting him to recover in time."

Mats Hummels likely to miss Germany's match vs Sweden

Asked about the criticism for Mesut Özil in the German media, he replied that he would not dwell on individual players as all the players have been criticised. He has his own opinion on Özil and everyone knows what that is, and he went on to talk about how the whole attacking line need to create opportunities tomorrow.

Joachim Low sticking to his convictions as Germany's World Cup in precarious place

"Why should I lose faith with my important players? My fundamental faith in those players will not be broken because of one game. Of course, one or two might be on the bench, but I trust them because they're still at a very high level. To question these players now would be fatal. Of course I don't." There was no changing of Germany's style, either, he added. "There is no point questioning our idea. There will be corrections, to address the mistakes, but there's no doubting our playing style."
Crisis? What crisis? Germany coach Joachim Löw keeps calm ahead of crunch tie with Sweden
"Of course, as the title holder and as the Confederations Cup winner, the situation we face now is a different one," Löw said.
"We're in a position where everyone is highly motivated and determined to win against us, so it's very difficult to maintain that motivation and hunger. That's why in almost 100 years there are not many who have been able to retain the World Cup.
"Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014 were not able to dominate and repeat the feat. It's clearly not easy to achieve it. We have to show a reaction [to the Mexico defeat]. We have to deliver. If we win, we're back in the race and we'll see how the tournament progresses after that. But talking about that now makes no sense at all. We cannot look beyond this game."
Joachim Low is as important as Angela Merkel - and he can still save Germany - says his former player Fredi Bobic

Germany coach Joachim Low goes for morning run ahead of Sweden clash - 22 June 2018

Training, Park Arena, Sochi, 21 June 2018

Another Sochi early morning run, with thanks to Bild and Markus Bark - 21 June 2018

Training, Park Arena, Sochi, 20 June 2018

Joachim Löw vor schwierigen Grundsatzentscheidungen

Lahm backs Löw & Germany despite poor World Cup start

Klimawandel in Jogis Wohlfühloase - 20 June 2018
Jogi-Show am Sotschi-Strand
A wonderful photoshoot on the Sochi beachfront has Jogi described as looking relaxed and happy.

Löws Bild-Botschaft - Bierhoff verteidigt Watutinki-Wahl
Löw wollte gar nicht erst dorthin: Frust über WM-Quartier ist großes Problem
Accompanying the promenade photoshoot in Sochi came reports of dissatisfaction with Vatutinki, with players being unhappy with conditions and the camp not being Jogi's preferred choice. Oliver Bierhoff however defended his reasons for locating the squad in Moscow.

A video from Welt Sport on Instagram

Germany players hold crisis meeting as Joachim Low is urged to axe Mesut Ozil

Baywatch am Schwarzen Meer - 20 June 2018
Thankfully some of the German media could still find a sense of humour, with Süddeutsche asking if we will again see Jogi jogging, this time along the Black Sea coast.

Der Tag in Watutinki und die Reise nach Sotschi - 19 June 2018

Closed-door training and time for regeneration for the day following the Germany defeat. Match analysis was also undertaken by the coaching staff. - 18 June 2018

Das erste Training nach dem Spiel gegen Mexiko

< Mexico, 17 June 2018 | South Korea, 27 June 2018 >

Last updated 25 June 2018
With thanks to everyone for their help and support, especially Lucille, Silke, Susanne, Persephone and Raheleh.
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