Joachim Low is determined Germany will prove masters of their own World Cup fate by getting the result they need in their final Group F match against South Korea in Kazan.
The reigning champions secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sweden with a fine strike from Toni Kroos deep into stoppage time, which put them back on course for the last 16 after losing their opening match against Mexico.
Germany can guarantee qualification if they beat South Korea by at least two goals, with Sweden, who also have three points, having to hope results go their way to progress.
Low does not want to leave anything out of Germany’s control.
“I am not one who plays through the different scenarios. Of course, I will be informed about the score between Mexico and Sweden in order to react if necessary, but we have to create clarity with our own result,” he said at a press conference.
“We have to win if possible with two goals difference. It’s up to our own performance and we have to do everything we can to do it on our own.”
Germany will be without suspended defender Jerome Boateng following his red card against Sweden, while midfielder Sebastian Rudy will not feature after needing surgery on a fractured nose suffered during the match in Sochi.
Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil could be drafted back in, while fit-again Mats Hummels should play at centre-half.
Low hopes his side have learned some harsh lessons from the Sweden game, when they had trailed at half-time and looked set to be crashing out of the tournament before mounting a recovery.
“We were vulnerable on the counter-attacks. We talked about this many times, and it is not only something to do with the defence,” said the German coach, who saw plans to train at the Kazan Arena on Tuesday changed to a different venue following heavy rain and hail storms.
“But against Sweden we were much better in the transfer game than against Mexico, so we have to keep working on that.”
Despite South Korea having lost their opening two matches, Low will not underestimate their challenge.
“South Korea don’t only have Son (Heung-Min), they also have other players who are able to execute fast breaks, so that will be our test,” the German coach said.
It remains possible, however unlikely, for South Korea to still reach the last 16.
“We have a one per cent chance, a small hope and we will try to find the opportunity to have a wonderful end to the World Cup,” said coach Shin Tae-yong.
Tottenham midfielder Son Heung-min is ready for the challenge. He said: “Germany is a lot stronger team than we are, but we have to have the mindset that we can do it.”
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