Germany’s inexperienced side was given a fright by Australia at the Confederations Cup on Monday, holding on to win its Group B opener 3-2 after goalkeeper Bernd Leno gifted the Asian champions both goals.
Only two members of Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning squad started the game in Sochi and, while the team was dynamic going forward, it was vulnerable at the back.
Lars Stindl marked his tournament debut with a goal after five minutes that was canceled out by Tommy Rogic when the Australia forward put the ball under Leno.
Julian Draxler, an unused substitute in the 2014 World Cup final win over Argentina, restored Germany’s lead from the penalty spot before halftime.
Although Leon Goretzka extended the German lead three minutes into the second half, another blunder by Leno ensured it was a nervy conclusion to the game in the Black Sea resort. A shot from Rogic through a crowded penalty area was spilled by the Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper and Tomi Juric stabbed the rebound into the net.
The Australian threat persisted but Germany clung on to collect three points in the Fisht Stadium, where around 20,000 seats were empty.
– Bowale Odutola