Low building for future challenges

After his side were held here to a goalless draw by Sweden, coach Joachim Low said he wants to build on Germany's impressive 2010 with his side set to face Italy and Brazil in 2011.

"The team this year has played some quality football this year with 'Made in Germany' stamped all over it and we want to build on that in 2011," said Low. Germany have four wins from four UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers and are top of Group A with a five-point lead over their rivals.

Low's side finished third at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and face Italy in Dortmund on 9 February and then South American giants Brazil in August at home, as well as five more UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers next year.

With star names like Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller, Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski missing at Gothenburg's Nya Ullevi Stadium, Low chose to blood a host of up-and-coming players. Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer, 22, and Mainz winger Lewis Holtby, 20, both made their debuts from the start with Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger captaining the team.

Teenager Mario Goetze became the youngest German player since 1954 to make his debut when he came on, aged just 18 years and 167 days, alongside Mainz's 20-year-old Andre Schuerrle as the pair also made their debuts late on. "I am very pleased with the performance," said Low. "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 was Germany's first goalless draw for five years when they drew with France in Paris in a friendly and the hosts were rarely tested by a limited Germany side. "I am very pleased with the performance of my team," said Sweden coach Erik Hamren.

"I would have wished for a few more scoring chances, but the German defence was once again very strong. We played against the third-best team in the world and it is not always so easy against such a well organised side."

Sweden are third in Group E of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign behind Hungary and leaders Netherlands with a game in hand.