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  • March 5, 2014
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Mercedes-Benz-Arena, Stuttgart
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 54449
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Germany 1-0 Chile: Gotze strike makes difference for Die Mannschaft

Germany 1-0 Chile: Gotze strike makes difference for Die Mannschaft

AFP

Joachim Low's charges held onto a narrow lead to beat Jorge Sampaoli's men in the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Wednesday night

Mario Gotze grabbed the only goal as Germany stepped up World Cup preparations by beating Chile 1-0 on Wednesday.

Joachim Low's side is one of the favorites for the showpiece in Brazil later this year, having eased to nine wins and a draw in an unbeaten qualifying campaign.

Yet, in an era when it has been rightly lauded for its new-found attacking style, Germany was forced to rely on the methods of its predecessors. The home side snuck a result against a Chile side which lent further weight to the theory that it will be a match for anybody when the tournament starts.

On a night when much of the focus centered on whether Miroslav Klose could grab the one goal required to become Germany's most prolific marksman of all-time, it was Gotze who earned the victory.

The fact that Klose, who was withdrawn at halftime, remains level with the legendary Gerd Muller on 68 goals will not detract from an impressive win for Low's men.

Indeed, a contest between two free-flowing teams lived up to its billing as both sides showed glimpses of their prowess.

It was the South American side, which impressed in coming through the tough qualifying group to reach the World Cup, that started the brighter.

Germany seemed particularly confused by the visitors' 3-3-1-3 formation as Chile's fluidity repeatedly caught its opponent out.

One of Chile's counterattacks almost led to an opener as Gonzalo Jara's excellent diagonal ball found Mauricio Isla, whose cross was intercepted by Jerome Boateng with Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez lurking for a simple tap-in.

Philipp Lahm had to be on high alert too a few moments later when clearing off the line after Arturo Vidal had met the resulting corner with a bullet header.

Soon afterwards, though, Germany took the lead against the run of play.

Mesut Ozil played a fine one-two with Bastian Schweinsteiger on the edge of the box before sliding across to Gotze, who controlled quickly with his right foot and lifted the ball into the top corner with his left.

Chile should have leveled in the 26th minute but Vidal struck straight at the goalkeeper from close range after a rare Schweinsteiger error.

The famous goal that man-of-the-moment Klose craved almost came, albeit in fortuitous fashion, as the striker mis-controlled Kevin Grosskreutz's powerful effort towards goal to force a solid, diving stop from Johnny Herrera.

Germany came even closer to doubling its lead when Gotze found space in the area, yet he curled narrowly wide.

Much like the opening period, Chile came out of the blocks quickly after halftime and created a series of half chances.

The best opening fell to Sanchez, only for the Barcelona forward to hit the woodwork as the visitors continued to be frustrated.

Manuel Neuer's goal was under siege for the remainder of the half but a resolute defense was on hand to produce a series of last-ditch blocks as Germany sealed the win.

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