Friendlies

Germany vs. Poland: International Friendly Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Germany's Andre Hahn, right, teammate Germany's Benedikt Hoewedes, background left, and Poland's Maciej Rybus challenge for the ball during a friendly soccer match between Germany and Poland in Hamburg, Germany, Tuesday, May 13, 2014.  (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press
Alex DimondUK Lead WriterMay 13, 2014

Pre-World Cup friendlies season kicked off in inauspicious fashion on Tuesday evening, as an experimental Germany side drew 0-0 with Poland in a truly dire match in Hamburg.

Germany head coach Joachim Loew opted to give his fringe players a run-out, giving those in his provisional 30-man squad considered unlikely to make the final 23-man cut a late chance to impress him and change his thoughts.

Unfortunately, none of them really took that chance and made the most of it. The standard of play was only ever-fleetingly rising above mediocre as neither side created clear-cut chances of note.

Germany did come closest, twice being denied by goal-line clearances, but Poland also mustered the occasional opening—although their attacking intent seemed to fade the longer the match went on.

"I had fun today, because we had a number of new players," Loew told reporters afterwards. "Our young lads did a really good job today. They were well organised and tried to go forward. They were able to play the way we asked."

It remains to be seen what exactly Loew gained from this encounter. His team started reasonably brightly—especially when compared with the rest of the match—but were let down by the wasteful finishing of Julian Draxler and Kevin Volland, who might both be a bit more concerned about their final selection prospects after this.

Indeed, Germany's closest call came from a defender—debutant Antonio Rudigerseeing his powerful header cleared off the line by Slawomir Peszko after he had gone up for a corner.

Poland, at this point, were enjoying just as much of the ball as their more vaunted opponents, although both Mateusz Klich and Thiago Cionek struggled when presented with reasonable sights of goal.

Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Ahead of the second half, both countries made changes, although with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich players unavailable due to cup final commitments this weekend, there remained an understudy feel to the whole affair.

Augsburg midfielder Andre Hahn was one player to enter the fray and did his best to up the tempo, struggling with his footwork in the early moments of his debut but improving as the game went on. He eventually saw a late header that would have won the game agonisingly cleared off the line at the far post.

Poland had focused almost entirely on defence at this point, but nevertheless, it would have been difficult to argue they warranted defeat. Indeed, it would be much easier to suggest the fans who made it to the Imtech Arena deserved some sort of refund.

Germany, on this evidence, will scare no one when they touch down in Brazil in a few weeks' time. Fortunately for them, however, they have a whole other array of more established players to call upon by the time that trip arrives.

The question, then, is how many of the players on show Tuesday night will also be on that plane. The suspicion is that this performance will not have improved any participant's chances.

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

 

Player Ratings

Germany Player Ratings
PlayerRating
Robert-Ron Zieler6
Antonio Rudiger6
Shkodran Mustafi6
Mathias Ginter6
Oliver Sorg7
Sebastian Rudy6
Christoph Kramer6
Leon Goretzka6
Max Meyer6
Julian Draxler6
Kevin Volland6
Substitutions
Marc-Andre ter Stegen6
Benedikt Howedes6
Andre Hahn7
Sebastian Jung6
Max Arnold6
Christian Gunter6
B/R UK
Poland Player Ratings
PlayerRating
Artur Boruc6
Pawel Olkowski6
Lukasz Szukala6
Thiago Cionek7
Jakub Wawrzyniak6
Slawomir Peszko6
Grzegorz Krychowiak6
Mateusz Klich7
Ludovic Obraniak6
Maciej Rybus6
Marcin Robak6
Substitutions
Karol Linetty6
Arkadiusz Milik6
Michal Zyro6
Maciej Wilusz6
Pawel Wszolek6
B/R UK

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