Captain Michael Ballack slammed the reaction of some of Germany's fans after his side endured a barrage of boos during their disappointing 1-1 draw with Finland. Only a 90th-minute goal by Lukas Podolski saved Germany's blushes, as an early goal from Finland's Jonatan Johannsson threatened to spoil the party after qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ with a 1-0 win over Russia last Saturday.
Germany were far from impressive here at the HSH Nordbank Arena as Finland controlled the game for long periods before Germany substitutes Mesut Oezil and Miroslav Klose combined to set up Podolski with time almost up. But Ballack says his side deserve more than the jeers and whistles, having dropped just four points during their qualification campaign and remaining undefeated after ten matches.
"I just can't understand the whistles," said Ballack. "Of course, we didn't play well, but the team does not deserve that after a good qualification campaign.
"We are all disappointed, but I expected a bit more tact from our own fans."
Finland's only win over Germany was 86 years ago in Dresden and Stuart Baxter's side came agonisingly close to pulling off another rare win on German soil.
"In the first-half we didn't play well, everyone saw that," acknowledged Germany coach Joachim Loew. "After the break, we raised our game, but Finland defended well and we weren't as fresh as we were in Moscow.
"Having said that, it is always difficult after such a game to raise the standard," he said. "We have to work much harder at breaking down defences. I know we have a good team, when they are focused."
Of course, we didn't play well, but the team does not deserve that after a good qualification campaign.
Having drawn with Germany 3-3 in their previous meeting in Helsinki in September last year, Baxter was understandably disappointed at the result.
"We have played Germany twice and I am disappointed at the two draws," said Baxter. "In both games we conceded an equaliser very late and that is a real pity.
"In the first-half the team played almost perfectly and I am very proud of my players."
Loew opted to rest Bastian Schweinsteiger, Klose and Per Mertesacker from the side that started in Moscow, but he still had Ballack and Philipp Lahm here. Loew will demand an improved performance from his side before next month's friendlies against Chile in Cologne on 14 November and Egypt in Gelsenkirchen on 18 November.