Germany beat Saudi Arabia in World Cup warm-up

Leverkusen (Germany), June 9 (IANS) Timo Werner came up with a goal and an assist to help Germany edge past a resilient Saudi Arabia 2-1 in an international friendly here.

Joachim Loew’s men secured a victory in the last test game ahead of the FIFA World Cup on Friday as a goal from Werner and an own-goal from Omar Hawsawi were enough secure a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Germans grabbed a perfect start into the encounter as Joshua Kimmich’s long ball found Marco Reus inside the box before Timo Werner hammered home from close range with eight minutes into the game.

The reigning World Cup champions kept their momentum and pressed the visitors from Saudi Arabia into defence for most of the half.

However, the hosts had to wait until the 43rd minute before their efforts paid off as Werner’s square pass, which was deflected by Omar Hawsawi into his own net, made it 2-0 on the scoreboards.

After the restart, things changed as Germany struggled to keep the pressure up meanwhile Saudi Arabia picked up the pace, as Salem Al-Dawsari pulled wide from promising position in the 61st minute.

The visitors kept it bowling and reduced the arrears in the 85th minute. Germany’s goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen denied Mohammad Al-Sahlawi a penalty but Taisir Al-Jassim took on the rebound and slotted home.

Germany wobbled and were lucky as Al-Sahlawi squandered a golden chance to restore parity from very close in the dying minutes of the clash.

“We played a good first half but our performance significantly decreased after the half time. We allowed too many chances and wasted many promising opportunities. We should have scored more goals,” Germany head coach Loew said.

Germany want to defend their FIFA World Cup title in Russia this summer. They will clash with Mexico for their first group stage match in Group F on June 17 in Moscow. Saudi Arabia will face hosts Russia in the World Cup opener three days earlier.

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