Germans must convert their chances, admits Loew

08 September 2012 04:47

Germany coach Joachim Loew has admitted his side must convert more of their chances after labouring to a 3-0 win over minnows Faroe Islands in their opening World Cup qualifier.

Midfielder Mario Goetze's first-half strike and two goals after the break from Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil ensured the hosts at least started the road to Brazil 2014 with three points on Friday.

Having converted only three of their 15 shots on goal while enjoying roughly 85 percent ball possession, Loew said his side must improve with the Germans facing Austria in Vienna on Tuesday.

They then face Sweden and Ireland next month in Group C.

After Ireland's 2-1 win in Kazakhstan earlier, Germany top the group but wasted a chance to dominate their guests from the north Atlantic archipelago, who are ranked 152 places below the second-placed Germans according to FIFA.

After their 2-1 exit at the hands of Italy in the Euro 2012 semi-finals and last month's 3-1 home defeat to Argentina, Loew admitted Germany's attack again lacked clinical finishing in front of a sparse crowd here in Hanover.

"I know that it is the biggest victory in our history over the Faroe Islands," joked Loew following Germany's previous narrow wins over the north Atlantic minnows as the national team enjoyed the 500th win in their history.

"The Faroe Islands aren't the benchmark for other teams we will have to play in this group.

"It was clear to see from the beginning that we wanted to score, but our problem at the moment is we waste a lot of chances.

"Not only in this game have we needed a lot of opportunities to score.

"Once again it was the little things missing in our game which were missing if we are to score more goals."

In contrast, goal-scorer Ozil said the Germans could be happy with the result.

"We put pressure on them from the start and we wanted an early goal," said the Real Madrid star.

"We can be happy with the result, we gave it all we had and we have taken the first step."

The guests' Danish coach Lars Olsen admitted he was disappointed with the two second-half goals his side conceded from Ozil.

Manchester City goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen was the Faroe Islands' hero with a string of fine saves, especially in the first half, to frustrate Germany's five-man attack, which produced plenty of chances, but little finishing.

"The goalkeeper and defence played well, but I have to say I am disappointed with the second-half goals, because we had spoken about the Germans being one of the best teams in the world for counter-attacks," said Olsen.

"Ball possession was something like 85 percent for them to our 15, so I can only say I am satisfied with our performance."

With Austria, Sweden and Ireland next up, Bayern Munich midfielder Thomas Mueller said it was important to start with three points.

"We have taken the first important points," he said.

"Everyone knows what is coming. We wasted some chances, just as we have done in the last few games.

"It was important not to show any weaknesses and we can live with 3-0, we know there are harder games coming up."

Captain Philipp Lahm, who picked up a first-half booking, admitted his team should have dominated the minnows.

"It was a must-win game, we played well, but didn't get the goals," he said.

"It could have been 4-0 at half-time, but overall we played well enough."

Source: AFP

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