Germany crush Latvia in international friendly

2021-06-08 00:35:54 GMT2021-06-08 08:35:54(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BERLIN, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Germany paved the way for the win with five first-half goals to cruise past Latvia in their final warm-up fixture in Dusseldorf on Monday.

Eight days ahead of Germany's UEFA Euro 2020 campaign opener against world champions France, Joachim Low's men returned to winning ways after overpowering Latvia 7-1 following a one-sided affair.

The hosts took the reins from the starting whistle and pressed Latvia onto the back foot.

Germany was rewarded for its powerful start and broke the deadlock with 19 minutes gone when Kai Havertz squared into the path of Robin Gosens, who marked his first-ever goal for Germany from seven meters out.

Latvia had to swallow another goal moments later as Ilkay Gundogan benefitted on a loose ball to hammer home from 15 meters.

Low's men continued on the front foot and made it three in the 27th minute when veteran Thomas Muller tapped home Gosens' cutback pass from six meters.

Things went from bad to worse before halftime as Roberts Ozols deflected Havertz's shot from a tight angle into the wrong goal while Serge Gnabry showed no mercy after volleying home Mats Hummels' pinpoint pass and establishing a five-goal lead.

After the restart, a number of substitutions disrupted the flow of the game but Timo Werner danced through Latvia's defense before making it six from inside the box at the hour mark.

Latvia showed signs of life in the closing stages and scored a consolation goal out of the blue as Aleksejs Sveljevs drilled the ball from 18 meters into the top left corner 75 minutes into the clash.

German remained unimpressed and restored their six-goal lead with the next attack after Leroy Sane made the most of Muller's build-up work.

With the result, Germany returned to winning ways after one defeat and one draw from the last two games.

"I have seen some improvements here and there. We played a fast-paced first half. In the second half, we retracted. However, we have to maintain the pressure to be successful in the next weeks," Germany head coach Low said.

"The result wasn't that important to us but how we reaped the win. Of course, we know that France is another caliber but I think we have seen a convincing performance," Germany midfielder Thomas Muller said.

Germany encounters France in their first group game of the 2020 Euro on June 15 while Latvia faces Estonia for a friendly on Thursday. Enditem