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Low laments sour defeat to Republic of Ireland

Germany coach Joachim Low claims his players “lacked the commitment” needed to score after their 1-0 loss to Republic of Ireland.

Joachim Low has slammed his wasteful Germany side after the world champions slumped to a surprise 1-0 defeat in their Euro 2016 qualifier with Republic of Ireland.

Shane Long’s goal midway through the second half was enough to secure at least a play-off position for Ireland. If Shane Long goes on to score dozens more goals for Ireland, he might never score one as important as the moment of clinical precision that sent the Aviva Stadium into unbridled ecstasy in the 71st minute. The only blemish on what was nearly the perfect night came across the water in Hampden Park as Robert Lewandowski struck in stoppage time to nick a 2-2 draw for Poland against Scotland, meaning Ireland will likely need three points or a high-scoring draw against Poland on Sunday to qualify automatically.

The defeat means Germany still require a point to seal qualification heading into their final game of Group D against Georgia and Low was frustrated with his side’s performance. The coach couldn’t resist indulging in a case of ‘saur grapes’ when asked what went wrong.

“We had many chances and did not convert them, and then we make one mistake and get punished, we avoided 99 of those long balls but the 100th was too many.” he said after his side had to wait until the final 10 minutes to record their first shot on target.

“It was an unexpected and unnecessary defeat. We talked about these things beforehand. We handled them well all the time. Just that one time we did not and it was a goal.

“Of course it would have been better to have two or three more training sessions, but that was not the reason for this defeat.

“In the end we lacked the final commitment in the last third when it was about scoring.”

From the very first moment of the match there was no rushing Germany as they initiated a sort of death by a thousand cuts, pressing and prying and probing so relentlessly that an Irish slip seemed inevitable. Remarkably, given the pattern of play in the first half, their breakthrough never arrived. Ireland’s rigid discipline allowed them to keep their shape for the most part and, most importantly, keep the scoreboard level.

In the second half also Germany had their chances as they peppered the Irish goal late on, but once in the ascendancy, that dogged Irish defending became even more resolute.
Republic of Ireland coach Martin O’Neill, who was presumably on cloud nine, nonchalantly addressed Low’s comments, saying: “ He’s just gone out, he’s congratulated me and whatever he said in here, he’s been totally different out there before.”

“He’s won the World Cup, he’s entitled to a fairly decent opinion. And we were brilliant.”

 

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