Joyful Germans relishing Russian adventure

  • **Young German team enjoying the Confederations Cup 


  • Kimmich: "Goretzka was the game's outstanding player"

  • Room for improvement identified

*By Steffen Potter with Germany

Germany's young players demonstrated a sheer joy of playing for the majority of their 3-2 victory over Australia in their opening FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 fixture – and that was reflected in their post-match comments.

"I think we were able to implement a lot of what we had practised in training," Leon Goretzka told "That we were able to do so makes us happy, and I'm sure it makes the the coaching staff happy as well. But there are definitely things we can still improve, especially from the last 20 to 25 minutes. We'll have to analyse that calmly."

Goretzka was involved in the build-up to Germany's first goal, won the penalty that put them 2-1 up and scored his side's third after the break. "For me, Leon was the game's outstanding player," said a grinning Joshua Kimmich in the mixed zone after the final whistle. "He covered so much ground getting forward and back, and his passing was great. It was fun." Kimmich's performance was no less impressive and he stood out through his agility, versatility and passing accuracy, as well as providing the assist for Goretzka's goal with a superb through ball.

"We had a couple of days to work on a few things and in the first half we put a lot of that into practice and controlled the game," said Lars Stindl, who, like Goretzka, scored his first senior international goal against the Socceroos. "I'm happy to be here," Stindl had said prior to the tournament, and although he is closer to turning 30 than most of his young team-mates, that joy has been clearly visible ever since the team arrived here in Russia.

It appears, then, that Joachim Low's squad selection for this competition has been justified. "Given that we've only been together for ten days, they did very well," said the FIFA World Cup™ winning coach after the game. "A lot of energy has built up in this team in a very short space of time. The players take on board what we tell them. They want to make this tournament their tournament. The teamwork and spirit are very good."

Those qualities, combined with their joy of playing, will be required again on Thursday when Germany face a stiff test against South American champions Chile in Kazan. It cannot come soon enough.