Germany 4 Sweden 4
I should write this entire post in German, but like the match Germany played with Sweden this week, it would be an insult to the German language, and all good things German. So I will refrain from even thinking about anything German, just as Mesut Özil, Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and the rest of Der Mannschaft are not thinking about anything German or even being German, except of course to point out that you did not read the above score wrong. The final was indeed 4-4.
Now one might have thought that this was a brisk, well-played wide-open match. But….one, meaning you, would be thinking wrong. This was not the case at all. This was a match that Germany had in the bag. They dominated Sweden for the first 62 minutes and posted a 4-0 lead with thrilling ease. Klose opened with a brace at 8 minutes and 15 minutes. Arsenal’s lumbering giant Per Mertesacker added one at 39 minutes. Özil smacked the 4th goal in at 56 minutes. Germany was poised to cruise to the finish line.
And that was their fatal mistake.
By some great power’s employ ((and as always, Zlatan Ibrahimović will take the credit)), Sweden rose up at the 62nd minute like an almost impossible to defeat final boss. And for the final 28 minutes plus 3 minutes of stoppage time, the Germans ran out of mana, hit points, until Rasmus Elm delivered the final fatal thrust at 90+3 to level the match and the Germans, 4-4.
A 4-0 lead blown!! Unbelievable on a certain level. But now that I think about it, they just might be running on fumes. There’s a gaping hole in their leadership at the moment, that’s the only explanation given the tremendous talent on the German team. I’m going to point a finger at Joachim Löw, the gaffer, for not getting his crew on top of their game when things got tough. As soon as Zlatan scored, he should’ve gotten skipper Lahm to get his guys tight at the back and focused. And yes, they’re big boys and should know better ((and to their credit, Lahm and Schweinstieger admitted as much)). But mental preparation is a continual process that starts with the coach.
Despite the draw, Germany appears comfortably atop of Group C, 3 points ahead of Sweden and 4 ahead of Ireland. Sweden however, has a game in hand. So perhaps the German’s perch is not so comfortable after all. In any case, Der Mannschaft has until March 21st to get their heads on straight when World Cup qualifying continues. Germany faces hapless Kazakhstan who’ve managed just 1 point so far, a goalless draw with Austria. Löw needs to have these lads ready to show absolutely no mercy. Never again can Germany lose a 4 goal lead. If they do, it might be time for Löw to step aside. As for me, I guess I won’t this against Germany for long. After all, I already have a DAB close at hand, and what do ya know, it’s time for another.