‘Semi-finals is the minimum’ – Optimistic Low sets Germany’s Euro 2020 target despite failing to defeat Switzerland
The German coach set a target his team must achieve at the upcoming tournament, but acknowledged they would need significant improvement
Germany boss Joachim Low has demanded his team reach the semi-finals of next year’s European Championships despite struggling to a 3-3 Nations League draw at home against Switzerland.
The Germans showed strong resilience to fight back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits versus the Swiss in Cologne, but have now only won one of their five matches since football resumed from the coronavirus-forced hiatus.
Chelsea duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz pulled Germany back into the game after they conceded twice early in the match. but after falling behind once again, Serge Gnabry was needed to secure the home side a point.
Low was disappointed with how his team began the game but was buoyed by their resilience in earning a point from a dire situation.
The long-term boss also talked up his team’s potential going forward and insisted that only a semi-final appearance or more at Euro 2020 will be deemed a success.
“It was a very high-intensity game,” Low said post-match. “Both sides took a lot of risks, but there were also several mistakes.
“We started the game poorly, but we showed real character to come back, which was good to see. We made a number of mistakes in defence though. Our plan was to play with a certain element of risk, but we need to fix those errors.
“We battled hard to get back into the game. You can learn a lot from setbacks. We need to improve our communication and instructions.
“When we go to the EURO’s, our aim is to get as far as possible, but reaching the semi-finals is the minimum goal.
“This team has a lot of potential. We need to correct a few things, but then I think there’s plenty to be excited about.”
An early strike to Mario Gavranovic gave Switzerland a shock lead in Tuesday’s match, before Remo Freuler doubled their advantage mid-way through the half and an upset looked on the cards.
But Werner steadied the ship soon after and when Havertz equalised shortly after half-time, it seemed like Germany would cruise to victory.
Gavranovic popped up once again to force the Swiss back in front only seconds after Havertz tied the match, but Gnabry made the score 3-3 with 30 minutes to play, and neither team could get a winner as Switzerland’s Fabian Schar was sent off in injury time.
Since international football resumed in September, Germany’s only victory has been a 2-1 win in Saturday’s Nations League match against Ukraine.
With Spain losing to Ukraine in Nations League Group A4, an unbeaten Germany sit in second place on six points – one behind La Roja.