WARSAW (Reuters) – World Cup winners Germany will need to improve their finishing after they dominated Poland but failed to find the back of the net despite a dozen clear chances in a shock 2-0 loss in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday.
The Germans, who take on Ireland in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, had their neighbours on the back foot from the start but neither Karim Bellarabi, making an otherwise fine debut, nor Thomas Mueller could score in the first half.
“I can’t say much about the team only maybe that we were a bit sloppy with our chances,” coach Joachim Loew, who once more started without a natural striker, told reporters after their first ever loss to Poland.
“But also in the second half we played well, created chances and Poland scored with their first chance.”
The Germans deserved at least a goal after again dominating after the break, especially following Poland’s lead in the 51st minute but their attacks lacked a clinical finish.
“We simply failed to score. With that number and quality of chances, we just failed to score and then a game like that can easily turn,” said defender Mats Hummels, who came close himself once.
“We were the better team but efficiency is what counts in football and we did not have it today.”
With record Germany scorer Miroslav Klose retired and Mario Gomez injured, Loew had recalled Borussia Moenchengladbach forward Max Kruse but left the 26-year-old languishing on the bench.
With Mueller in a forward role and World Cup final hero Mario Goetze playing a few steps behind, Germany just could not make their advantage count.
The introduction of Lukas Podolski late in the game added more attacking spark but he could only hit the bar with a thundering drive before Poland grabbed their second.
“I had the feeling that we could have responded after the goal,” Loew said. “We had chances with Bellarabi and Podolski. Chances were there because essentially it was a one-sided second half.
“Our task now will be to find our finishing and score.
“I have to talk with the players, we will analyse the game. Our game execution was good, our finishing wasn’t.”