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Germany demand instant response as Joachim Loew bemoans poor finishing

Attacker Mario Goetze has predicted three points on Tuesday and that ‘things will look different then’.

Image: Alik Keplicz/AP/Press Association Images

JOACHIM LOEW HAS demanded world champions Germany respond to their shock defeat to Poland by beating Ireland on Tuesday to get their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign back on track.

The World Cup winners find themselves fourth in their qualifying group after being beaten 2-0 at Warsaw’s National Stadium on Saturday, suffering an historic first defeat to neighbours Poland in 19 matches.

Ajax striker Arkadiusz Milik gave the hosts the lead on 51 minutes before substitute midfielder Sebastian Mila netted a late second to inflict Germany’s first defeat in a qualifier for seven years.

The Republic of Ireland’s 7-0 drubbing of minnows Gibraltar in Dublin earlier in the day means Germany are now fourth in Group D with Poland top, Ireland second and Scotland third.

Loew’s Germany has the chance to bounce back when they host Martin O’Neill’s Ireland in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, the same night Poland host Scotland.

Germany’s lack of finishing is of particular concern to Loew as his team enjoyed 62 percent possession, yet could not finish any of their 22 attempts on goal compared to just four by Poland, who scored from their first real chance.

We are obviously disappointed, you can’t really criticise the team apart from saying we were too reckless with our chances. Our structure was good and we created a few opportunities, but Poland took their chances and scored from their first shot on goal. We have to focus on Tuesday now, react well against Ireland and gather our strength.”

Germany have struggled since winning the World Cup in Brazil in July.

They were humbled 4-2 by Argentina in an August friendly, then laboured to a 2-1 win over Scotland last month in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier.

They had their proud record of 33 qualifiers without defeat — dating back to a 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic in October 2007 — abruptly ended.

Germany’s last away loss in a qualifying match was a 3-0 defeat against Portugal in June 2000 as they again stumbled at Warsaw’s National Stadium, the same venue where they lost the Euro 2012 semi-final to Italy.

“The defeat was avoidable, but we didn’t play badly,” said Germany’s stand-in captain Manuel Neuer.

“I came out late for the first goal, it was my mistake.”

With several stars injured including captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil, Loew handed Bayer Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi a start on his debut in a new-look midfield.

But even with retirements and injuries, Loew could still call on six of the side which started the World Cup final.

Centre-back Mats Hummels said Germany must improve their finishing.

“We didn’t score and the number of chances we had was a joke. That can definitely turn a game,” he said.

Attacking midfielder Mario Goetze, whose extra-time goal won the World Cup final, echoed Loew’s sentiments that they must beat Ireland.

Poland Germany Euro Soccer Despite the setback against Poland, Mario Goetze is still very confident ahead of Tuesday's clash with the Irish. Source: Czarek Sokolowski/AP/Press Association Images

“We played well and had as many chances as you’d see in four games, but it just wasn’t our day,” said Goetze.

“Even if we had played for another half an hour, we still wouldn’t have scored.

“On Tuesday we will pick up the three points and things will look different then.”

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