Hummels scores late 2:1 in czech republic
Thanks to mats hummels, defending champions germany are on the verge of qualifying for the 2018 world cup in russia with their seventh win in seven games.
Two months after winning the confed cup, the DFB team, led by captain thomas muller, tackled the first task of the world cup season in a 2-1 (1-0) win over the czech republic in prague without any world championship glamor. The new goal scorer timo werner (4. Minute) and hummels (88.) decided the game in front of 18 093 spectators in the eden arena. For the czech republic, berlin bundesliga professional vladimir darida scored a dream goal to equalize the score (78 minutes).). Already on monday the group victory could be fixed in the home match against norway in stuttgart.
"We definitely can’t be satisfied with the way we played. We needed a lot of luck. We had a lot of possession, but we couldn’t get behind the lines. It started well, but didn’t give us the security we needed. We made life difficult for ourselves," complained national coach joachim low.
The players were also self-critical. "We made too many mistakes. We often served the ball to the czechs in the build-up to the game. In the first half we had to score one more goal, but it was clear that it was going to be a game of patience," said muller and goalkeeper hummels added: "we had several problems. The biggest problem was the easy ball losses. I haven’t seen that in a german team in ten years. The counterattacks were dangerous."
Low had chosen an offensive alignment with a variable 4-1-3-2 system. Besides seven confed cup winners, the four prominent world champions hummels, mesut ozil, thomas muller and toni kroos returned to the team, which low had identified as "fixed points.
And the courageous formation showed immediate effect. Already after 224 seconds the world champion went through werner in the lead. The strong defensive leader hummels had won the ball on the halay line and passed it directly to ozil. The playmaker, who was at the center of rumors of a move to FC barcelona on friday, then set up the leipzig attacker, who slotted the ball past czech goalkeeper tomas vaclik. For werner, it was the fourth goal in the seventh national game.
The offensive alignment with only one six kroos and a very high standing eagle defender jonas hector was, however, also a risk and went in the defensive at the expense of stability. There were also still coordination problems after three training sessions.
The czechs, who have had their rough times since the departure of the great generation around pavel nedved, petr cech and tomas rosicky, were by no means without a chance. Jan kopic with a shot blocked by lars stindl (12.), a distance shot by jan boril (16.) and a header by tomas soucek (17.) provided a little danger.
Otherwise, however, the german team set the tone. While low had opted for a more defensive approach at the confed cup, this time the style was again geared toward a lot of ball possession. And a fine combination via kroos, julian brandt, muller to stindl almost brought the second goal, but the gladbacher failed with his shot to vaclik (20.). Nevertheless, stindl was an active player who took part in many actions.
Muller, who captained the german eleven for the third time, was not able to make the same impact in midfield as he had in the first leg. In the 3-0 win, the munich player, who has not been in the starting eleven recently under carlo ancelotti, had scored two more goals.
Midway through the first half, marc-andre ter stegen suffered a moment of shock when he was too far in front of goal and was almost duped by michal krmencik (26.). Bremen’s theodor gebre selassie had also been able to make more of his opportunity shortly before the break (45.). The defender was one of two bundesliga players in the czech starting eleven, along with berlin’s vladimir darida.
The sometimes poor defensive work of the DFB team repeatedly opened up goal-scoring opportunities for the czechs. Also in the second half, although only rarely the goal of ter stegen was in danger. Nevertheless, the czechs had 12:8 shots on goal with 25:75 percent possession after just over an hour. Low couldn’t like that: so he brought in defender antonio rudiger for brandt and from then on operated with a three-man backline.
Nevertheless, the german team was still punished. In the 78. In the 45th minute, darida fired a 20-meter shot into the top right corner of the goal. But the world champion had an answer ready: after a free kick by kroos, hummels scored the lucky winner with his header.