Germany coach Joachim Loew was full of praises for his young players for keeping their cool during a penalty shootout victory over Italy in the quarter finals of the UEFA European Championships.
Team veterans Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller had all blown away their penalties, but young players Hector and Joshua Kimmich stepped up big to help secure the world champions a place in the semi-finals.
“The experienced players missed and the younger guys came through, so that’s quite positive,” Loew said. “If you want to criticise anything, sometimes we lost the ball too easily. We had a chance for a second goal, but Buffon produced a save and then an Italian player stopped Mueller.”
Germany will face the winner of the match between France and Iceland, and is worried about the prospects of playing the match without Mario Gomez and Sami Khedira, both of whom left the match due to injuries.
“It wasn’t great to see Sami come off after just 15 minutes,” admitted Loew. “He had problems with his hamstring, I don’t know if it is serious. Gomez had muscle problems, but I can’t say too much about it. We have to recover and look after some players because a game like this affects the body.”
Loew however tipped France to find a way past Iceland, though he admitted it would not be easy. “We’ll have to see, France is going to be the favourite, they’re a great side with individual quality,” said Loew. “Iceland are a battling team, who are organised in defence. It’s not going to be easy for France.