SOCHI, Russia: Joachim Loew hailed Germany’s “brilliant” 4-1 win over Mexico in the Confederations Cup semifinals and said his youthful squad are ambitious enough to beat Chile in the finals.
Loew opted not to bring his World Cup winning stars to the Confed Cup, but Germany’s young guns booked their place in Sunday’s (Monday in Manila) finals in St Petersburg after a devastating opening spell in Sochi.
Attacking midfielder Leon Goretzka, 22, hit two goals in the first eight minutes to stun Mexico.
Timo Werner, 21, made it 3-0 midway through the second half, then Marco Fabian scored Mexico’s late stunning consolation with a thunderbolt free-kick before Germany’s substitute Amin Younes, 23, netted Germany’s fourth.
“From the beginning, we did exactly what we set out to do—we were very dominant and brilliant in the opening stages,” said Germany’s head coach Loew.
“They pushed us back a bit in the second phase of the first half, which was to be expected, and we gave up a lot of ball. All in all, 4-1 is a great result.
“We wanted to go far, but this is nothing that we could have expected at the start of the tournament.”
Score to settle
After Germany drew 1-1 with Chile in the group stages last Thursday, Loew says his team is hungry enough to beat the Copa America champions in the final.
“Chile is the most powerful opponent in this tournament, we know them pretty well and we expect them to go for it in the final,” said Loew.
“They will be trying flat out to pull it off, as they are coming to the end of their season, and we will have to try and counter that.
“A lot of work has gone into our wins. We couldn’t pre-empt this (reaching the final) as some players had little experience and you couldn’t calculate how they’d react.
“We’ve become a team over the last few weeks. There’s fun in the dressing room, but they aren’t over the top.
“They know there is work ahead and they are ambitious enough to beat Chile.”
Goretzka and Werner are now the tournament’s joint top-scorers with three goals each.
After scoring twice in Sochi, Goretzka says the Germans have a score to settle against Chile.
Lars Stindl equalised in the second-half of the group stage draw in Kazan last Thursday after Alexis Sanchez rattled the Germans by poaching an early goal for the South Americans.
“I was really happy to help the team with the two goals, our single-minded goal was to reach the final so we’re delighted,” said Goretzka.
“There is only one match to go.
“We’re looking forward to playing Chile again, because in the second half (of the group stage match) we had the feeling the draw was not enough.
“Now we have another chance against this top flight team.
“In the first few minutes, we didn’t do so well against Chile, so (against Mexico) we really wanted to get down to brass tacks and the two quick goals really calmed the team.
“We now need to reward ourselves for our hard work and we want to get the title.”
After rallying from 2-0 down, Mexico are justified in being unhappy with the unflattering scoreline after having twice as many shots on goal as the Germans.
The Mexicans play Portugal in Sunday’s third-place play-off in Moscow.
With 15 minutes left against Germany, Raul Jimenez headed against the crossbar as Germany’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen made a string of saves.
“Our way of playing is very aggressive. We try to get forward all the time and we paid for that,” said Mexico’s head coach Juan Carlos Osorio.
“They are fair winners, but the scoreline would seem to suggest they were way better and I don’t think that was the case.”