Germany made to work for victory by Saudi Arabia

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Germany ended a five-game winless run on Friday but were made to survive a scare in a narrow 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia.

In their final warm-up friendly before the start of their FIFA World Cup title defence, the Germans got off to a dream start at the BayArena as they took the lead after just eight minutes.

A searching ball over the top from Joshua Kimmich found Marco Reus and he cleverly cushioned a volleyed pass into the path of Timo Werner, who sent an emphatic first-time effort into the roof of the net.

Two minutes before halftime, the hosts doubled their advantage through a well-worked move; Werner breaking free down the left and playing in a low cross that Omar Hawsawi – in an attempt to block out Thomas Muller – could only deflect into his own goal.

Nonetheless, Germany failed to capitalise on their dominance and kill off the game in the second half and, with six minutes remaining, the Green Falcons were awarded a penalty for a trip by Sami Khedira on Taisir Al-Jassim inside the box.

Although Mohammad Al-Sahlawi’s spot-kick was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Al-Jassim reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball and lash home from close range.

And, in injury-time, Saudi Arabia nearly scored a stunning equaliser as Al-Jassim got in behind the opposition defence before unselfishly squaring the ball to Al-Sahlawi.

But, with the goal gaping, Mats Hummels produced a brilliant sliding challenge to shut the door and preserve a much-needed win for Die Mannschaft.

GERMANY: Manuel Neuer (Marc-Andre ter Stegen 46’), Joshua Kimmich (Matthias Ginter 81’), Jerome Boateng (Niklas Sule 46’), Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller (Julian Brandt 84’), Marco Reus (Ilkay Gundogan 57’), Julian Draxler, Timo Werner (Mario Gomez 62’).

SAUDI ARABIA: Abdullah Al-Mayouf, Yaseer Al-Shahrani, Osama Hawsawi (Ali Al-Bulaihi 83’), Omar Hawsawi, Mansoor Al-Harbi (Mohammed Al-Breik 46’), Abdullah Otayf (Housain Al-Mogahwi 75’), Taisir Al-Jassim, Salman Al-Faraj (Abdullah Al-Khaibari 90+1’), Yahya Al-Shehri, Salem Al-Dawsari (Hattan Bahebri 87’), Fahad Al-Muwallad (Mohammad Al-Sahlawi 62’).

Photo credit: Saudi Arabia Football Federation