Sun, Jun 08, 2014 - Page 20 News List

WORLD CUP: Germany lose Marco Reus amid romp over Armenia

AFP, MAINZ, Germany

Germany midfielder Marco Reus, front, and Armenia midfielder Artur Yedigaryan vie for the ball during their game in Mainz, Germany, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Germany coach Joachim Loew was left counting the cost of Friday’s 6-1 thrashing of Armenia in a friendly which ruled Marco Reus out of the World Cup.

The 25-year-old Borussia Dortmund winger was rushed to hospital after twisting his left ankle in a challenge just before half-time.

A scan revealed a partially torn ligament in his left ankle, which the German Football Federation said would require six to seven weeks before he can resume training again.

Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi has been called up as a late replacement for the Borussia Dortmund player.

“It’s not about replacing Marco Reus directly. We have a lot of quality for the position behind the forward, so we decided for another option in defense,’ Loew said.

Reus had been in excellent form coming into the World Cup.

The injury put a dampener on an impressive display as goals by Lukas Podolski, Benedikt Hoewedes and Mario Goetze, who scored twice, floored minnows Armenia, who had a penalty converted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Replacement Miroslav Klose, who turns 36 on Monday, made history when he headed home their fourth to become Germany’s all-time top scorer.

Klose netted his 69th goal for Germany on his 132nd appearance to finally break Gerd Mueller’s previous mark of 68 goals in 62 matches for West Germany.

Loew had said he wanted a confidence-boosting win and his side upped the pace with five goals in 17 second-half minutes.

“Our pre-World Cup training camp was intense for all the players and you could see they were fresher today,” Loew said. “We struggled to take our chances in the first half, because the opponent stood very deep.”

The Germany boss said the Brazilian climate will be a factor when his side start their campaign against Portugal on June 16, but is something they are planning for.

“There are lots of things which need to work at a big tournament,” Loew said. “When you come from Europe [to Brazil], you can’t assume to be able to play the same type of football, which we can here. I have experienced the temperatures and humidity [in Brazil], you can’t expect to go flat out for 90 minutes. So efficiency in taking your chances is an important topic for us.”

Despite Reus’ injury, there were several plus points for Loew.

Captain Philipp Lahm and his deputy Bastian Schweinsteiger played after enforced injury breaks.

Arsenal star Lukas Podolski had two assists and a goal in an impressive second-half display after replacing Reus on the left wing.

“If you look at the statistics, we had lots of goal chances and we need knock them in earlier,” said the 29-year-old Podolski, who scored his 47th goal on his 114th appearance. “We showed what we can do in the second half, now we have to prepare well for Portugal, who are a tough team and will be a different caliber than today. It’s very important to win your first game.”

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