Germany manager, Joachim Löw has accused his players of being too naïve in their 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland in a European Championship qualifying fixture in Gelsenkirchen yesterday.
The World Champions looked to be heading for the whole three points after midfielder Toni Kroos had given Germany a deserved 71st minute lead, following spells of commanding possession and dominative play.
However, Martin O’Neill’s resilient Republic of Ireland team weathered the storm to score the most unlikeliest of equalisers when, Sunderland defender John O’Shea, steered in a 93rd minute leveller.
Whilst O’Shea led the celebrations in front of the travelling Green Army, a stunned home crowd could do nothing other than to watch their World Champions capitulate for the second time in less than two weeks.
Mountain to climb
Last night’s draw means that Löw’s team have now dropped five points from a possible six on offer having also lost 2-0 to Poland in Warsaw on Saturday.
Tuesday’s result has left Germany with a small mountain to climb, with the Eagles currently fourth in Group D on four points, whilst the Republic of Ireland are three ahead in second place.
Despite labelling the draw against Ireland as difficult game, the 54 year old Germany manager admitted that his team were simply overcome with pressure in the build-up to O’Shea’s equaliser.
He told DFB.de: “We are all disappointed. In the last few minutes we were far too naïve, played the ball to high, then eventually couldn’t keep the ball and then lost the ball. It was a difficult game and we have to have patience.”
Although Germany had 22 shots on goal compared to the Republic’s lacklustre four, Löw believes that his World Champions were unable to get in to the game, and score their catalogue of chances.
The solemn manager went on to say: “In the first half we were missing width and depth from our game. As a result we made it far too easy for the Irish to defend.
“In the second half we were better and delivered more pressure, but we were unable to score the second goal.”
The tide has changed
Just over three months since winning the biggest competition as manager with Germany, Löw has come under fresh criticism for his questionable tactics in the two qualifying games bygone.
Although the former VfB Stuttgart manager has a contract with Germany until the summer of 2016, the President of the German Football Federation, Wolfgang Niersbach has labelled last night’s performance as “supper annoying.”
The 63 year also told DFB.de: “It is completely annoying. We had to protect our one goal advantage, and ensure that we could leave with the three points. This is very annoying.”
Several of Germany’s players looked burdened with fatigue and pressure, none more than striker, Mario Götze who was guilty of spurring several goal-scoring opportunities with his team desperate to break the Irish backline.
Despite having his own chances to put the game to bed and the result beyond doubt, the 22 year old who scored the only goal in Germany’s victorious World Cup final admitted that the Eagles can only look back in disappointment after squandering goal-scoring opportunities.
The Bayern Munich striker also told DFB.de: “It is really, really annoying. It was really a sure thing (that we would win). We had the skills and chances to win the game. It is annoying, the way the game turned out to be.”
Löw and his disheartened World Champions must now re-group ahead of their next qualifier at home to tournament new-boys Gibraltar in Nϋrnberg on 14th November.