Germany coach Joachim Loew has stressed that winning was all that mattered for his team in Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.
The Euro 2012 semi-finalists recorded a comfortable 3-0 win courtesy of goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Goetze and Thomas Mueller, yet failed to really impress in Astana as they struggled after the break.
“We were obligated to bag the full three points here. It was not easy to find some space, but the most important thing is that we won,” Loew said.
“The match was pretty much decided at half-time. We then slowed down a bit in the second half. That’s why we didn’t really get into our rhythm after the break.”
Loew then went on to explain his decision to drop Lukas Podolski in favour of Julian Draxler.
“Lukas hadn’t played for a few weeks and Draxler impressed on the training pitch after some fine performances for Schalke,” he said.
“I wanted to see how Julian would do from the beginning. No player is guaranteed a starting berth and the players should feel the pressure.”
Podolski eventually came off the bench after just 19 minutes to replace the injured Draxler.
Germany host Kazakhstan on Tuesday and sit five points clear at the top of Group C ahead of second-placed Sweden.
Miroslav Beranek’s men remain winless after five games.