Joachim Low applauded a weakened Germany for battling through adversity in the 3-0 win over Estonia that put them on the cusp of Euro 2020 qualification.
Emre Can’s 14th-minute dismissal for a last-man foul on Frank Liivak left the visitors at risk of a potentially embarrassing result in Tallinn on Sunday but two deflected strikes from Ilkay Gundogan after half-time dug Low’s men out of a hole.
The Manchester City midfielder then set up the sealer for Timo Werner as Germany edged three points clear of third-place Northern Ireland in Group C with two games remaining.
Toni Kroos, Matthias Ginter, Serge Gnabry and several more regular squad members missed the Estonia match through injury, while Werner and Gundogan only returned to the fold after skipping last week’s friendly against Argentina due to illness and a muscle problem respectively.
“Firstly, I’m happy we got the job done,” Low said after the victory, his team’s fifth in six qualifying fixtures.
“It was tough work out there. The team did well in the second half. We kept a clean sheet and scored three goals.
“The decisive factor was that we increased the tempo in the second half and kept calm.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) October 13, 2019
“A lot has gone wrong this week with all the injuries and withdrawals.
“It took a bit of improvisation. We did not train much. The first half against Argentina was good and the second against Estonia, so we can still analyse that and gain good insights.”
Goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer agreed with his head coach’s assessment, deeming the result and performance acceptable given the circumstances.
He said: “We were down to 10 men after 15 minutes, which makes everything more difficult as you have to reset.
“Because of that, I didn’t think it was a bad performance.
“It was a matter of time that the goals would come. Eventually we put them away.”
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