Joachim Low praised his side’s battling qualities after Nico Schulz’s last-minute goal gave them a dramatic 3-2 win against Holland in Amsterdam.
First-half goals from Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry put the visitors in control but, just like the last time the two sides met in last year’s Nations League, Holland hit back to draw level as Matthijs De Ligt and Memphis Depay struck early in the second half.
That was not the end of the drama however, as Schulz scored to give Germany a winning start to their European Championship qualifying campaign.
Low believes the away victory sets them up well for the rest of the challenges in Group C.
“Getting three points here in the Netherlands to kick off our qualifying campaign is fantastic and will really help our process,” Low told www.dfb.de.
“But we saw that we still have a lot of work to do. We need to maintain control better at 2-0 up. The team battled brilliantly and I can only take my hat off to them.
“We played really well in the first half; we controlled the game and we had some great movement in attack and runs behind the defence. We fully deserved to lead at the break and we had implemented what we had practised in training superbly.
“Their first goal back came at a bad time. We fought hard in the second half and tried to get our opponents under control again, but our football wasn’t on the same level anymore.
“We started to get flustered and gave the ball away too easily. It’s a process that a young team has to go through. What pleases me is that the team never lost the belief that they could win the game, and in the end we got our reward.”
Ronald Koeman blamed his own tactical error for Holland’s defeat to their rivals.
The Dutch boss was considering making a defensive substitution late in the game, after seeing his side fight back to level things up. It left Koeman regretting that he did not just settle for a draw.
“We have discussed various scenarios. I wanted to bring in Nathan Ake for Quincy Promes to get the point. Maybe I should have done that,” football-oranje.com reported that Koeman told NOS after the game.
“We got chances on the 3-2 and when you are on the field, you can feel that the 3-2 is in it. In the final phase, the last two to three minutes, Germany became more dangerous.
“It shows the mentality that we have continued, that is to be praised, but I did feel that the goal could also fall on the German side.”