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Joachim Low defends team selection ahead of Netherlands clash

Joachim Low defends team selection ahead of Netherlands clash

Die Mannschaft coach opted for Mario Gomez over Miroslav Klose on Saturday, a decision that proved vital in the opening game

Germany coach Joachim Low has defended his team selection for the 1-0 victory over Portugal, claiming he "hasn't broken up the hierarchy" of experienced players.

Low, who is taking charge of his third consecutive major tournament, opted for the younger duo of Mario Gomez and Mats Hummels in place of veteran striker Miroslav Klose and Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker for the game on Saturday evening.

The starting XI was Germany's youngest ever at a European Championship, but the gamble paid off after Gomez's header sealed victory.

"A coach is no idiot." Low said, in reference to a speech by Giovanni Trapattoni. "I haven't broken up the hierarchy. They are important players to which the young ones can come and talk to. We have a lot of young players on the bench who haven't played a tournament."

"That's why you need experience."

Germany faces another tough test in their next game, taking on a Netherlands side who will come out fighting after losing its opening game to Denmark.

Low believes that his side can put in a better overall performance, but expects the Dutch to be tricky opposition.

"We have room to improve but it was important to get the three points. In defense, it's about fine-tuning," he said.

"It's all-or-nothing for them [Netherlands]. They must win to stay in the tournament. We have completed our first small stage."

"I was pleased with the first game. But it's going to be a different game against Netherlands, both teams will act differently. Portugal focused a lot on defense, Netherlands will be more offensive-minded." he concluded.

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