Created on 15-10-2013 at 23:21 PM
In their final 2014 World Cup qualifier away to Group C runners-up Sweden, free-scoring Germany turned around a 2-0 deficit in Stockholm to win an action-packed match 5-3. Joachim Löw's team have now gone 32 World Cup and European championship qualifying fixtures without defeat.
Mesut Özil (45), second-half substitute Mario Götze (53) and three-goal Andre Schürrle (57, 66, 76) ensured the Germans came out on top despite strikes for the home team by Tobias Hysén (6), Alexander Kacaniklic (42) and Hysén again (69). One of the stars of the night was Bastian Schweinsteiger, who earned his 100th senior international cap in the meeting with the Scandinavians and was presented with a bouquet, a medal and a ceremonial cap by DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach and General Secretary Helmut Sandrock prior to kick-off.
Six Bayern stars in the starting line-up
“If you look at our total number of points, it’s been a very, very good qualifying campaign,” Schweinsteiger commented afterwards, “but obviously, 5-3 isn’t a good result. I’d rather we were winning 2-0.” FCB and Germany captain Philipp Lahm called for improvement: “You always want to win and the team were very focused on the game, but we conceded two goals from two chances. It’s all about fine-tuning, and that takes time. We also need to improve our play in the final third. So we have work to do, not just defensively but also in attack.“
Coach Joachim Löw included a total of six Bayern men in his starting line-up, with Manuel Neuer, Lahm, Jérôme Boateng, Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller, but the three-time world champions conceded their earliest goal in almost four years when the home side took a sixth-minute lead. Sweden skipper Sebastian Larsson played in the unmarked Hysén to open the scoring, and although the visitors mounted a furious assault, Müller’s looping header on 13 minutes came back off the bar.
Götze levels it up
The Germans found the going tough at times against the robust and defensive Scandinavians, and were caught on the break a second time after 42 minutes when Kacaniklic made it 2-0 with the Swedes’ second shot at goal. However, Özil (45) launched the visitors’ comeback on the stroke of half-time with a good finish from 15 yards.
Götze took over from Munich team-mate Müller for the second half, and the FCB newcomer was soon in action, accepting Özil’s short pass in the box and firing high into the roof of the net. Löw’s men now played with much greater creativity and determination, Chelsea’s former Bayer Leverkusen forward Schürrle handing the visitors the lead for the first time with a quickfire brace, and rounding off the scoring after 76 minutes, restoring the two-goal lead after Hysén had spectacularly pulled a goal back seven minutes earlier.