Confed Cup: Demirbay scores as DFB reach semi-final

Joachim Löw’s young Confed Cup squad faced a tough test in Russia – a squad which included four Hoffenheim players in the form of Sandro Wagner, Kerem Demirbay, Niklas Süle, and Sebastian Rudy.

Clear victory against Cameroon

Germany finished top of the group to go into the semi-final of the Confed Cup in Russia thanks to a 3-1 win against Cameroon. Joachim Löw’s side will next be tested against Mexico on Thursday. Kerem Demirbay played a decisive role in securing the victory for his country against the African champions, as he started and scored his first goal for Germany, giving his side the lead in the 48th minute. Leipzig’s Timo Werner extended the lead, making it 2-0 after 66 minutes. Vincent Aboubakar scored a consolation goal in the 79th minute, but Werner struck again to put the game to bed after 81 minutes played.

Alongside Demirbay, Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy started the game. Süle played the full 90 minutes whilst Rudy was taken off in the 74th minute for Benjamin Henrichs, and goalscorer Demirbay was replaced by Julian Brandt after 77 minutes. Despite his goal, Demirbay was critical following the game, saying: “We didn’t really get going in the game. My goal after the half was a relief, and then we were dominant from thereon out. I’m really happy to have been given a chance,” he said.

Germany manager Löw, with one eye on the semi-final on Thursday, said: “Mexico are a great team with many players who are technically good and physically impressive. They’re a good side, but I’m happy that we’re getting the opportunity to play against a Central American team – that’s not an opportunity that comes about often. It’ll be an interesting game which will demand a lot from us. Mexico have some quality players.” 

Tough test against Chile

The second group-stage game of the tournament for Germany saw them come up against Copa America winners Chile, including world-class stars Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez, and former TSG man Eduardo Vargas. Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy started in the hard fought 1-1 draw for Germany, but Kerem Demirbay and Sandro Wagner did not come off the bench as Löw made no substitutions.

It was an even and intense game that saw 31 fouls and four yellows. Sanchez gave the South Americans the lead in the 6th minute after a misplaced pass from Shkodran Mustafi. Lars Stindl succeeded in bringing Germany level shortly before the half (41’). Germany’s tally of four points puts them second in Group B, behind Chile, who lead on goal difference. Both teams have one foot in the semi-final as a draw would suffice for Germany in their next game against Cameroon. 

Opening win

Germany won their opening game of the tournament in Russia 3-2 against Australia. Sandro Wagner, Sebastian Rudy, and Niklas Süle were the three TSG players in action. The goals for Joachim Löw’s side came from Lars Stindl, Julian Draxler, and Leon Goretzka, whilst Thomas Rogic and Tomi Juric scored for Australia. Sandro Wagner and Sebastian Rudy started the game, whilst Niklas Süle came on in the 63rd minute for Julian Brandt. Kerem Demirbay watched the game from the bench.

Wagner was a key part of Germany’s attack prior to his substitution in the 57th minute. Germany failed to capitalise on several chances they created, including Wagner who missed two chances in the opening stages of the game. Sebastian Rudy played in holding-midfield and acted as the glue between the attack and the defense alongside Leon Goretzka.

As Germany lost their edge in the final third of the game, Löw brought on Niklas Süle to sure things up defensively, and that’s exactly what happened as they held on for the win. “We’re happy with that. We played a really good first half in which we created many chances and did a lot of running. We had the courage to play attacking football, and linked up well with one another. The only criticism is that we only led 2-1. We faded out after 60 minutes and lost our edge up-front. The opponents’ goals came from nothing,” said the Germany manager after the game. 

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