Sunday, 29 May 2016

WWK Arena, Augsburg

"I've never experienced anything like that before. This was the longest half-time interval I ever seen."

Mario Gomez 13'
Marek Hamsik 41', Michal Duris 44', Juraj Kucka 52'

After going one goal up, Germany conceded two in quick succession before half-time, when a thunderstorm caused the start of the second-half to be delayed. Jogi was able to give debuts to all four uncapped players in his preliminary squad.

Germany let lead slip in Augsburg
Hosts shocked in rain-affected friendly
World Champions continue to struggle

"It was a real shame that the pitch was no longer playable in the second half. It really disrupted the flow of the game and the quality of the link-up play. In the first half we had a couple of good moves going forward, a few decent chances and some good movement. Defensively we weren't as organised, and Slovakia had a lot of space to counterattack."

Löw concerned by Germany's defensive performance

"I am pleased with our attacking performance. We had a few nice attacks and our movement was quite good," Low said at a news conference.
"But I have to be honest and admit we had problems defensively.
"It might have had something to do with the presence of both Mario Götze and Julian Draxler, who are both number 10s. That's why Slovakia got too much space."
Joachim Löw: Defeat won't decide fortunes of debutant quartet
"It's the overall impression I have got from them over recent weeks and months which will matter," Löw told ARD television."We cannot expect everything from the young lads in a game like this, but all four of them have quality and they've got bright futures."
"After a game like this, what matters most is that we don't have any injuries. We've got a meeting with the doctors now to see how long Mats Hummels, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marco Reus are going to need before they are fit."
In an interview on, Joachim Löw reassured Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was at fault for the third Slovakian goal "To go 3-1 down immediately after the break was a bit of a shock for our young team, but I am not going to lay the blame on him. I know what he is capable of and he has already shown that at Barcelona. These things happen: the pitch was wet and the ball was slippery. I know that he would normally have had no trouble catching the ball in that situation. It won't make us lose our faith in him."

On Mario Gomez: "I took him off at half time because he had a slight muscle injury. This was an unplanned change but I would never take a risk with any player. Mario has not appeared very regularly for the national team in the last few years, and we still need to fine tune a few details, like the runs he should be making. He is a player with a real killer instinct, and he is especially dangerous in the penalty area. He is not always a ball-playing centre forward who links up with the midfield, however, he likes to lurk in the box where he poses the biggest threat to goal."

Mario Gotze a Bright Spot as Germany's Second String Struggles vs. Slovakia - match analysis from the Bleacher Report
Player ratings from Germany's 3-1 loss to Slovakia

As half-time approached, the storm clouds were gathering and it was quite obvious a rather nasty storm was on its way (see right). The referee rightly, in view of very nasty incidents that had already happened in Europe that weekend, delayed the kick-off for the second-half, and the teams eventually came back on after 38 minutes to resume the match on a rain-sodden pitch.

On the storm delay Jogi said "There is a clear rule: Once the 15-minute break is over, the referee has a maximum of 30 minutes to restart the match. Lighting and hail can clearly be dangerous and you don't want to take any risks. Those conditions can lead to dangerous situations. We needed a few minutes to get adjusted to the pitch conditions. I tried to help the players from the sidelines. We needed to win more balls in the final third, as passing became difficult on the wet surface."

Unwetter-Attacke! Rekord-Halbzeitpause beim DFB-Testspiel dauerte 38 Minuten

Slovakia stun green Germany in storm-hit friendly - "the black clouds mirrored Löw's dark scowls as he trudged off" says France24

After the game, Joachim Löw also discussed the difficult decisions he had to make in the next 48 hours, reducing his squad to the final 23 for the tournament.
"We will sit down with the medical team and figure out where we stand, but it looks like there are no more injury problems to report. Then we will need to have a small discussion. This game alone will not be the deciding factor. What is important is how the players have presented themselves in the last few months with their clubs and in Ascona during the training camp. None of the players deserve to go home. All of them are performing at a really high level and therefore it is going to be very difficult for me. We want to take the time to discuss it once more and then on Monday and Tuesday we will observe training - we are looking to share it with the players as soon as possible. First of all, I will tell them personally and then the team as a whole."

Löw still waiting on Germany fitness news

He also updated the listening media with the latest news on captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, "Obviously the medical staff will help to make the decision on him and others in the team. If our team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt tells me that he or other players will not be available in the next couple of weeks, then I will I have to base my judgement on that. We will assess all of the players once more. Bastian was involved in training on Sunday and did some work with the ball. However, I want all of our injured players to get the all clear from the doctor so that the next few weeks are risk-free."

Joachim Löw talks up Germany's Euro chances - a interview that was published on the day of the match, Jogi talks about their qualifying campaign, their Euro opponents and on playing without a central striker:
"It was the same at the World Cup and even before - we've tested various formations. Mario Gomez is strong again. In the past year he's regained his confidence and hasn't had any injuries. But we always have options. We have players like Müller, Marco Reus, André Schürrle, Mesut Özil, Mario Götze that like to get forward, players who come in from wide positions. It can make it more difficult for opponents."On their Euro opponents he said "We know Poland well. Northern Ireland are a bit of a surprise, but they played well in qualification. We know their style: they're strong and good in the air. With teams like Ukraine, they are always uncomfortable matches because their players are physically strong and for their size they're fast. They also know how to switch play quickly. We don't have an easy group."

In the evening the team flew back to Lugano for the second week of their Ascona Training Camp

Match highlights and Jogi highlights

Post-match interview with ARD

DFB post-match press conference

Starting Line-Up:
Bernd Leno (Marc-André ter Stegen), Antonio Rüdiger, Jerome Boateng (Benedikt Höwedes), Joshua Kimmich (André Schürrle), Jonas Hector, Sebastian Rudy, Sami Khedira (Julian Weigl), Julian Draxler, Mario Götze, Leroy Sane, Mario Gomez (Julian Brandt)

Spot-on Real Madrid defeat Atlético in final again - 28 May 2016
As Toni Kroos becomes the first German to win the Champions League for two different clubs.

Anreise nach Augsburg - from

In his press conference on Saturday 28 May 2016, Joachim Löw confirmed that Bernd Leno will start in goal and Julian Brandt, Julian Weigl and Joshua Kimmich will all be given their debuts for Germany. On his Slovakia opponents he said "We studied Slovakia intensively and passed on our first impressions to the team. Slovakia were good in qualifying and play football in a similar way to Poland and the Ukraine. They are organised and quick at the back. They're also have strong on the counter. It will be a good test."

For more news on the build-up to the game, personnel news and the preceding week's press conferences, see my Ascona Training Camp, prt 1 page.

With thanks to for the storm chart!

Last updated 30 May 2016
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Lucille, Silke, Susanne, Delmy, Magda and Sarah.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!