Germany held in Swedish stalemate
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Sweden and Germany ground out a yawn-inducing 0-0 draw in tonight's friendly in Gothenburg.

Star names were missing from both sides, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic absent for the hosts and Mesut Ozil, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski all out for their opponents. The game missed their quality, with neither side seriously threatening despite a handful of hopeful efforts.

"I am very pleased with the performance," said Low after the match. "It was very quickly clear that it was going to be a game of patience. The Swedes put lots of men behind the ball and waited for us to attack, they didn't attack like you would expect a home team to."

"I was really pleased with those who made their debuts and those who were making their second appearances. Lewis Holtby worked hard in training from the first moment he joined the squad and convinced me he was ready to make his debut.

"This year has seen the development I was hoping for, we have seen some quality football with 'Made in Germany' stamped all over it," concluded Low.

Things started slowly, neither side getting the ball into the danger area in the opening minutes. Sebastian Larsson found some space in the eighth minute but could not beat Heiko Westermann with his cross.

This year has seen the development I was hoping for, we have seen some quality football with 'Made in Germany' stamped all over it.
Joachim Low, Germany coach

A 13th minute corner from Sebastien Schweinsteiger forced Swedish goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson into action and he punched clear before an attacker could meet the ball. Marko Marin was looking livelier than most but the Werder Bremen man was struggling to produce a final ball.

With 20 minutes gone things had not improved much, a series of free-kicks failing to open the game up. Westermann was proving effective in clearing Sweden's attempted attacks but after 27 minutes the hosts finally created something.

Larsson was the provider, crossing for Pontus Wernbloom who could only manage a weak shot that bobbled wide from 12 yards. That spurred on Germany and moments later debutant Lewis Holtby forced Isaksson into a smart save from 20 yards. Marcel Schmelzer followed suit from even further out but Isaksson was again up to it.

There was one change at the interval, Germany sending Andreas Beck on for Jerome Boateng but - one snap shot from Marin aside - the game quickly took on a familiar look. The visitors attempted to push the pace, Anders Svensson blocking a Sami Khedira shot and Holtby twice firing unsuccessfully at goal.

After an hour Joachim Low withdrew Schweinsteiger, Marin and Khedira, with Sweden following suit soon after, taking off Mikael Lustig and Ola Toivonen.

The substitutions continued at regular intervals thereafter, increasing the sense that both sides were happy with a stalemate. As such there were few genuine chances in the last half an hour as the game fizzled out to a low-quality draw.