Germany began the final international break of the year with a 1-0 friendly win over Czech Republic. Joachim Löw’s youthful side came out on top thanks to a Luca Waldschmidt goal (13’), assisted by debutant Philipp Max.
The friendly victory was only Germany’s second in six matches so far in 2020, with two Nations League games to come in Leipzig on Saturday vs. Ukraine and away to Spain next Tuesday (both 20:45 CET).
With a number of players unavailable, including goalkeeper Oliver Baumann who departed the squad hours before kick-off to self-isolate, Joachim Löw named two debutants in Philipp Max and Ridle Baku. The national coach also rested key players, including all FC Bayern players, ahead of the busy months to come, including the EUROs next summer. Ilkay Gündogan captained the side in Leipzig in his 40th game.
Despite several changes to the side, Germany started strongly and combined well on several occasions. Florian Neuhaus was the first to test out the away keeper, Jiri Pavlenka, with a shot from the edge of the box. His save landed at Max’s feet, and the full-back played a low ball into the box, which Waldschmidt slotted home to give Germany the lead (13’).
Löw was forced into his first change after just 20 minutes, with Hofmann going off with a hamstring problem. The Gladbach attacker was replaced by Nadiem Amiri. The hosts continued to enjoy plenty of the ball and chances came too. Gündogan had a shot blocked after being supplied by Waldschmidt, while Baku’s follow-up shot was easily stopped by Pavlenka (28’).
Julian Brandt arguably had the biggest chance to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute after a poor defensive pass fell to his feet in front of goal, however he blazed well over. Kevin Trapp made a comfortable save from a Jan Kopic header before half time to keep Germany’s lead intact (41’).
Mahmoud Dahoud replaced Gündogan at the start of the second half and could have increased Germany’s lead with an hour on the clock. His shot was deflected off target though.
Germany found it more difficult to create chances in the second half and had to fight hard to see the game out. Nevertheless, the closest either side came to scoring after the break was Florian Neuhaus’ powerful shot, which crashed back out off the post (77’).