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Germans fall to US

Götze on target but Löw’s men lose

A Mario Götze strike was not enough to prevent Germany falling 2-1 to the USA in Wednesday night’s friendly in Cologne. A 40,348 crowd saw Bayern’s World Cup winner open the scoring on 12 minutes, but Mix Diskerud (41) and Bobby Wood (87) settled a not-undeserved victory for the North Americans, currently in the warm-up phase prior to the CONCACAF Gold Cup and 4-3 winners against the Netherlands five days previously.

“We had plenty of good openings in the first half but lost our way in the second,” Götze said afterwards. “We played well in the first half, but we should never be conceding the equaliser,” added Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, “we obviously wanted to win, but you have to take into account where we’re coming from compared to where the Americans are coming from.”

Two and a half weeks after the last Bundesliga weekend and three days prior to a Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar in Faro, Joachim Löw was without a number of injured regulars. The coach also rested Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller and former FCB man Toni Kroos, with Jérôme Boateng only back from vacation the previous evening and also spared duty in Cologne.

A half for Schweinsteiger

Schweinsteiger and Götze were the only FCB starters against the USA as the world champions began brightly and took a 12th-minute lead through Götze. But the home side failed to turn their superiority into more goals with Götze denied on the half-hour by US keeper Brad Guzan. A string of misses proved costly four minutes from the break when Diskerud levelled with his team’s first clear-cut opportunity. Schweinsteiger was substituted at the interval and Götze came off after 73 minutes.

The second half increasingly belonged to Jürgen Klinsmann’s team against a Germany line-up made highly unfamiliar by substitutions. Keeper Ron-Robert Zieler saved brilliantly from Michael Bradley with seven minutes left but could not prevent Woods winning it three minutes from time with a fulminating long-range drive. Sami Khedira might have equalised in stoppage time but the midfielder’s header came back off the bar.

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