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SPORTS

Germany still winless in UEFA Nations League after Swiss draw

FOOTBALL By Reuters | September 7th 2020
Germany players celebrate their first goal scored by Ilkay Gundogan [COURTESY]
Germany were still waiting for their first-ever Nations League win after they gave a tired performance and were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday.

Ilkay Gundogan gave Joachim Loew’s side the perfect start with a clinical goal in the 14th minute but Silvan Widmer earned their smaller neighbours a deserved draw just before the hour.

In the end, Germany may have been grateful for the result in the League A Group 4 game as the much livelier hosts, unbeaten in their last 17 competitive matches at home, created the better chances.

Germany, who also let the lead slip in a 1-1 draw with Spain on Thursday, failed to win any of their four games in the inaugural Nations League two years ago and have drawn their opening two games this time around.

Switzerland have one point after losing their opener to Ukraine.

Germany coach Joachim Loew was left frustrated by his team’s failure to capitalise on their early lead.

“We didn’t take our chances for a second goal and allowed Switzerland to take control in the second half -- in the end I thought a draw was the right result,” he said.

“When you lead 1-0 in two games and don’t win either, it’s annoying. It’s a problem that we are not finishing off games... I doubt that Switzerland would have come back from 2-0 behind.”

Loew stuck with his three-man defence and his side made an early breakthrough.

Matthias Ginter, despite being surrounded by five defenders, laid the ball back to Gundogan who rolled a shot between Yann Sommer and his near post from 20 metres.

Julian Draxler should have added a second shortly afterwards but shot straight at Sommer.

Switzerland were let down by their old failing in front of goal with Haris Seferovic the biggest culprit, mis-kicking from six metres after Djibril Sow’s pass found him free.

The Benfica striker also hit the post just before halftime.

Breel Embolo’s runs from midfield constantly troubled Germany and he set up the equaliser in 58th minute.

The visitors lost possession in midfield, Embolo burst into the area and laid the ball off to Widmer who scored on his return to the side after a three-year absence.

Granit Xhaka tested Leno with a long-range shot and was just wide with a free kick as Switzerland threatened a win.

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