Germany 3-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina: Inspired Second Half Performance Lifts Hosts

The Germans fell behind in the first half but scored three unanswered goals in the second period to seal the win...

In his team's final warm-up before the World Cup, Germany coach Joachim Loew reinstated Bastian Schweinsteiger and captain Philipp Lahm. Holger Badstuber earned his first international start at left-back, and in a somewhat surprising decision, Loew selected Piotr Trochowski on the right side of midfield.

By contrast, Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic lined up his side in his favoured 4-2-2-2 shape, with Miralem Pjanic and Zvjezdan Misimovic supporting striking duo Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic.

The match started rather slowly, but didn't take long to heat up. After an opening spell laden with sideways passing, Lukas Podolski lined up an 18-yard shot and blasted it off the crossbar.

The hosts were unable to build on their momentum, and instead, Bosnia struck first. After Per Mertesacker's clearance was blocked, Pjanic chipped a perfect ball to Dzeko, who did well to hold off Lahm. The Wolfsburg striker controlled the ball with his head, and Lahm unwisely attempted an overhead clearance. The plan backfired as the ball bounced off Dzeko's chest, over Manuel Neuer, and into the net.

It took several minutes for Germany to recover, but like before, the hosts showed few warning signs before threatening Kenan Hasagic's goal. Mesut Ozil caught the Bosnian defence napping on 22 minutes as he latched on to a through ball and rounded the Bosnian goalkeeper, who appeared to trip the young German. Ozil was unable to properly connect with the ball, and his shot was blocked.

Two minutes later, Sami Khedira played a gorgeous through ball to Podolski, who returned the pass, but the Stuttgart midfielder could not quite hit the target from close range.

After a dangerous spell, Bosnia recovered defensively. Adnan Mravac, who on several occasions had allowed Podolski to get behind him, received more support, and die Mannschaft found opportunities a rarity. Having secured the lead, the visitors dropped back, and looked to absorb pressure and counterattack.

Late in the half, Sejad Salihovic released Pjanic, who had made an insightful run. As he approached Neuer, the Lyon midfielder could not decide whether to pass or shoot, and the German 'keeper saved what turned out to be a rather weak shot.

At the other end, Schweinsteiger tested Hasagic from distance before Ozil and the previously anonymous Klose combined to set up Khedira, who was only denied by unbelievable defending. Mravac atoned for his previous mistakes by blocking the central midfielder's shot, but collided with captain Emir Spahic and had to be withdrawn.

At the start of the second half, Loew replaced Trochowski and the hapless Klose with attackers Cacau and Thomas Mueller, and Germany came out a vastly improved side.

Five minutes into the period, Lahm atoned for his previous mistake by scoring a cracking goal that was orchestrated by none other than the substitute, Cacau. The Stuttgart forward cleverly turned, lost the ball, won it back, and found his captain racing away from Senijad Ibricic. Lahm dribbled to the edge of the penalty area, and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the upper left corner of the goal.

Two minutes later, Ozil played a brilliant one-two with Cacau before blasting his shot off the crossbar. The Bremen playmaker and Stuttgart forward combined yet again on 55 minutes, when Ozil's shot was saved, and Cacau was hurried a bit too much by Spahic as he looked to put in the rebound.

Bosnia attempted to recover, but were completely thwarted in attack. Their only half chance came from a speculative shot by Zvjezdan Misimovic, which Neuer comfortably collected.

After a few minutes of decreased pressure, the Germans pressed for the winner, and forced their previously solid opponents to make mistakes. After Cacau narrowly missed from 30 yards, substitute Marko Marin jinked his way into the box before earning a penalty from Sanel Jahic. Schweinsteiger stepped up to the spot and converted with a powerful shot to the left side of goal.

Four minutes later, Cacau won the ball near the edge of the penalty area, Ozil threaded a clever pass to Mueller, and after a delightful touch, the Bayern man was felled by Spahic. Schweinsteiger again took the penalty, and again fired high and to the left.

Late in the game, Marin combined well with Mueller and Cacau, and perhaps should have won another penalty, but play continued.

Three minutes from full-time, Dzeko looked to net a consolation goal, but Mertesacker got a toe to his shot, which deflected just wide of the right post.

Shortly thereafter, the final whistle was blown, and Germany earned an impressive come-from-behind defeat. Bosnia can be satisfied with an impressive first half performance, but will be disappointed to have failed to match the Germans' intensity after the break. Having won all three of their recent friendlies, Loew's men will enter the World Cup with their heads held high.

Watch the goals from the game here.

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