BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will rediscover their goal-scoring instincts in time for next year’s European Championship, coach Joachim Loew said after his team laboured to a 2-1 victory over Georgia on Sunday to book their place at the tournament in France.
The world champions wasted a bagful of chances, just as they did in their 1-0 loss to Ireland on Thursday, and had to wait until the 79th minute for Max Kruse to snatch the winner and make sure of a place in the tournament in France after topping Group D.
“We know that is not what we demand from ourselves. Not the way we are currently operating in front of goal. We made our own life difficult,” Loew told reporters.
“We sang the same song as in Ireland. Three, four huge chances early on and then the mistakes start creeping in,” he said. “First of all, we are satisfied with the qualification but not satisfied with our last two games. That is not our standard. We have work ahead of us.”
The hosts should have gone ahead with one of three opportunities that fell to Marco Reus early on but the attacking midfielder failed to score as did several of his team mates in a one-sided first half in which Germany had more than a dozen attempts on goal.
“Marco usually does not waste them but today he had three huge chances early,” Loew said. “He has the quality but tonight we did not show we can make this big number of chances count.”
The Germany coach, who again opted not to play a natural striker, believes a long pre-tournament training camp would help improve their finishing.
“We need to do more but the team has the quality,” he said. “If we have three four weeks of a training camp (before the tournament) then the team always raises its level.”
He did not rule out deploying an out-and-out striker in the future.
“I don’t want us to play long balls to feed the forward but it is an alternative to have a confident striker,” he said.
The Germans are one of the best tournament teams in the world, regularly peaking at just the right time as they did last year in Brazil to win the World Cup for the fourth time.
“Obviously, our conversion rate is an issue at the moment,” defender Jerome Boateng said. “But we also know that tournaments are a completely different issue.”
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)