Australia head coach Ange Postecoglou conceded his side were comprehensively outplayed before half-time in their 3-2 Confederations Cup defeat to Germany.
Joachim Low named an experimental and youthful squad for the competition but they performed with the sure authority of world champions in their Group B opener at Sochi’s Fisht Stadium.
Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Lars Stindl opened the scoring in the fifth minute and Germany could arguably have been out of sight by the time Tom Rogic’s drive slid under haphazard goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Parity did not last long as Massimo Luongo clattered into Leon Goretzka to concede a penalty that was dispatched by Julian Draxler – the Paris Saint-Germain winger who had been given freedom to roam to devastating effect.
Goretzka joined Stindl in netting a maiden international goal shortly after half-time and, although Australia were much improved during the second period, they could not find an equaliser after Tomi Juric punished more slack work by Leno.
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“I’m disappointed. It’s no fault of the players to be fair to them. They stuck to our principles,” said a visibly dejected Postecoglou at his post-match news conference.
“First half they were just too good for us. We allowed them too much space and probably a little bit too much respect.
“They were way too good. We were probably lucky to go in at 2-1.
“Second half was better, we composed ourselves a little bit, we were smarter defensively and good with the ball.
“Overall, it’s disappointing. We didn’t come here to lose games and we lost.”
Postecoglou added: “There’s no question it’s a team full of character and courage. We’re trying to play a certain way against the very best and it’s not easy to do.
“In terms of a result it’s a loss and the loss falls on me. It’s my responsibility.
“It would have been easy to come out in the second 45 and chuck the towel in but we didn’t do that.”
Australia will now turn their attentions towards Thursday’s crunch clash with Cameroon in St Petersburg, the African champions having also suffered defeat in their first match at the hands of Chile.
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