Germany 2 Saudi Arabia 1: Werner on target to end winless run Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 03:31 6/9/18 Bongarts Timo Werner opened the scoring and Omar Othman put through his own goal in Germany’s 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia, where Marco Reus impressed. Germany limbered up for their World Cup defence with a patchy 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen on Friday, ending a five-match winless slump in friendlies.Timo Werner gave Joachim Low’s men an early lead and Omar Othman’s unfortunate own goal undermined Saudi Arabia as they briefly threatened to find a way into the contest.Marco Reus made his first international start since March 2016 and dazzled during the first half, laying on Werner’s opener and linking pleasingly with the RB Leipzig striker and Thomas Muller. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move A former Dortmund team-mate of Reus’ will enter Russia 2018 under a cloud – Ilkay Gundogan again receiving boos following his meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Saudi Arabia were humiliated 8-0 in the 2002 World Cup by Germany but their current vintage, led by former Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, should fare better this time around, with seemingly vulnerable hosts Russia up first for them in the tournament opener.Fahad Almuwallad and Yahia Alshehri both threatened in attack and Taiseer Aljassam reduced the arrears in the 84th minute after the goalscorer was brought down by Sami Khedira and Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved fellow substitute Mohammed Alsahlawi’s penalty.A fine performance from Timo #Werner today He is replaced up front by @Mario_Gomez (63′)#DieMannschaft #ZSMMN #GERKSA 2-0 pic.twitter.com/nKDpaZxkO6— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 8, 2018Reus was alert to Joshua Kimmich’s raking eighth-minute pass and cushioned a volley back across goal to give Werner a simple finish.A crisp 20-yard shot from Reus then cannoned back off the post and Germany’s only hindrance during the opening half hour was a well-functioning Saudi offside trap.Some stylish interplay with Muller and a clever chipped backheel by Reus saw Werner head wide in the 32nd minute – the ball not dropping for the volley he craved.A combination of Abdullah Almuaiouf and the Saudi goalkeeper’s right-hand post denied Khedira from Reus’ right-wing cross, but the visitors almost levelled when Almuwallad fizzed Alshehri’s cutback just past the post.Striker Almuwallad was unable to turn home from close range as Saudi Arabia’s counter-attacking threat became increasingly prevalent.But their chances of springing a surprise were dealt a body blow two minutes before the break when a patient and incisive Germany move ended with Othman putting Werner’s cross into his own net under pressure from Muller.Almuaiouf made a brilliant reaction save from Julian Draxler in the 50th minute after the Paris Saint-Germain winger was precisely picked out by Jonas Hector and Saudi Arabia’s number one continued to excel by tipping a powerful Muller strike behind.Gundogan was whistled despite Low’s protestations to the stands when he came on for the excellent Reus in the 57th minute.Jeers almost turned to cheers moments late as Gundogan avoided the offside flag but Almuaiouf smothered the chance.The flow of second-half substitutes disrupted Germany’s rhythm and Alshehri twice went close.Bayer Leverkusen favourite Julian Brandt – surprisingly preferred to Leroy Sane by Low in his final 23 – made a lively cameo and sent a volley wide at the back post.The wealth of talent at Germany’s disposal is beyond doubt but, as Aljassam reduced the arrears and Mats Hummels avoided giving away a second penalty despite grabbing a handful of Alsahlawi’s shirt, it became clear they must lift their level in Russia. read more
World Cup Costa Rica defender Matarrita out for the World Cup with hamstring injury Goal 07:19 6/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Frederic J. Brown World Cup Costa Rica v Serbia Costa Rica The New York City FC left-back will play no part in Russia after suffering an injury during training Costa Rica defender Ronald Matarrita will miss the World Cup with a right hamstring strain, the Costa Rican federation has confirmed. The New York City FC left-back suffered the injury in training and after he underwent an MRI, the club’s training staff determined he would be out for at least two weeks. Due to the length of the injury, Costa Rica has named Alajuelense defender Kenner Gutierrez as Matarrita’s replacement on the roster. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Matarrita was set to take part in his first World Cup after making his debut with the Ticos in 2015. The 23-year-old has been capped 21 times by his country, which has been drawn into Group E at the World Cup. Matarrita also missed out on last summer’s Gold Cup for Costa Rica because of injury, then suffering a broken bone in his foot. Costa Rica will face Serbia in its opener on Sunday, before then taking on Brazil and Switzerland.