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Werner shines as nervy Germany end winless streak

AFP  |  Leverkusen (Germany) 

impressed as gave themselves a pre-boost on Friday by breaking their five-match winless streak with a nervy 2-1 victory over in their final warm-up game.

First-half scores by striker Werner and an Omar Hawsawi own goal sealed the win as were only rarely threatened by Saudi Arabia, who play hosts in the opening match in on Thursday.

Werner was in the thick of the action for the 62 minutes he played of the friendly.

The scoreline flattered the Arabians, who converted a late penalty at the second attempt.

Although saved Mohammad Al-Sahlawi's weak spot-kick, Taisir Al-Jassim banged home the rebound on 85 minutes.

However, German hearts were in mouths in added time when only robust defending prevented Al-Sahlawi grabbing a shock equaliser.

"There are no little teams anymore and we didn't do well in a few areas," admitted Marco Reus, who hit the post early on.

"We conceded a few counters, the holes were too big, but we are a tournament team and we still have a week left - Germany shouldn't worry."

Having failed to win any of their previous five games, including a shock 2-1 defeat at neighbours last Saturday, a full-strength German team dominated for long spells in Leverkusen.

Both and Reus hit the post in the first half as Germany could easily have doubled their tally, but there were also worrying defensive lapses from the hosts.

were crushed 8-0 by Germany in a group phase game at the 2002 finals and it looked like a similar rout was on the cards early on.

Germany grabbed the lead after just eight minutes when a Joshua Kimmich long ball was beautifully controlled by Reus, who squared for Werner to fire home. Reus, who heart-breakingly missed triumph after tearing ankle ligaments in the final warm-up match, then clattered the post three minutes later.

It took 30 minutes for the visitors to trouble the German defence when forward twice shot wide.

Khedira forced Saudi into a reflex save on 37 minutes, palming his shot onto the post. The second goal came just before the half-time whistle when Werner's cross for was tapped into his own net by Hawsawi.

Germany made two changes for the second half with Ter Stegen replacing in goal and Niklas Suele coming on for defender

Ilkay Gundogan replaced Reus for the final 30 minutes and was booed by Germany fans, despite going close on 61 minutes.

The caused a political storm last month along with by meeting and handing over a signed shirt to "my president".

With 15 minutes left, nearly made it 3-0 when he fired wide before the visitors gave the Germans a nervous final 10 minutes.

Germany face in their opening World Cup match in on June 17, also facing in Sochi and in in Group F.

Saudi, coached by ex-boss Juan Antonio Pizzi, also play and in Group A.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 10:00 IST
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