Created on 06-06-2014 at 22:46 PM
Both Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger made successful comebacks as Germany cruised to victory in their final friendly before flying to Brazil for the World Cup. Mario Götze fired a brace as Joachim Löw’s men defeated Armenia 6–1 in Mainz on Friday, although a morale-boosting victory was overshadowed by a serious injury to Marco Reus, who tore a syndesmotic ligament just before half-time and was ruled out of the global showdown following a medical on Saturday. Sampdoria’s Shkodra Mustafi has been called into the squad as an emergency replacement.
Four FCB men started the match in front of a 27,000 crowd at the Coface Arena. Captain Lahm returned from an ankle injury and was joined by right-back Jérôme Boateng, Toni Kroos in a playmaking role and Thomas Müller up front. Prompted by Kroos and twin holding midfielders Lahm and Sami Khedira, with the highly mobile Müller and Reus creating havoc through the middle, the home side comfortably dominated the first half, but the men in white found chances initially hard to come by.
The goals started to flow after the break. André Schürrle latched onto a 52nd-minute lay-off by Lukas Podolski from a Kroos pass to open the scoring, and although Henrik Mkhitaryan levelled from the spot after 69 minutes, Podolski (72), Benedikt Höwedes (73), Miroslav Klose (76) and Götze (82, 89) made it a deserved and sizeable victory by the end.
The goal for former FCB man Klose took him onto 69 for his country in 132 matches, overtaking Gerd Müller (68 goals in 62 matches) in Germany's all-time scoring chart. Klose’s strike was laid on by Schweinsteiger, who returned from a knee injury as a 59th-minute substitute. Götze followed him for the last 15 minutes. Müller and Boateng were both taken off in the 67th minute. Keeper Manuel Neuer is still recovering from injury.
“I feel top fit," said Lahm after his first match in three weeks. “We can be pleased. It was a decent team display. It's normal that we still have work to do prior to the first match at a World Cup." Kroos commented: “The first half was okay and we made a few chances. It was a lot easier after half-time.“
Brazil win, Dante on the bench
Brazil also warmed up for the World Cup on home soil with a win. FCB centre back Dante spent the 90 minutes on the bench as A Seleçao ground out a laboured 1–0 victory over Serbia in Sao Paulo. The goal for the home team, who looked shaky at the back at times, was scored by Fred after 59 minutes. Hulk had a potential second goal struck off for a controversial offside decision 15 minutes from time, while Serbia's Milos Jojic had earlier hit the woodwork. Brazil contest the opening match of the World Cup next Thursday against Croatia on the same ground.