LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Lucas Waldschmidt’s early goal was enough for an inexperienced Germany team to beat the Czech Republic 1-0 in their friendly game on Wednesday.
Germany goalkeeper Kevin Trapp made a late save to deny Matěj Vydra an equalizer for the visitors, who were without two players due to positive coronavirus tests. The game was played without fans to minimize the risk of infections.
Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan recovered from his COVID-19 infection to captain Germany. Regulars such as the Bayern Munich players and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos were omitted for the friendly and are only joining up with the squad for the Nations League games against Ukraine in Leipzig on Saturday and Spain in Seville on Nov. 17.
Germany coach Joachim Löw handed debuts to both PSV Eindhoven defender Philipp Max and Wolfsburg defender Ridle Baku.
Both were involved in the opening goal in the 13th minute. Baku brought the ball to the penalty area, where Florian Neuhaus let fly. Jiří Pavlenka saved the effort, but Max set up Waldschmidt with an easy finish from the rebound
But the home team failed to build on its lead. Baku, Julian Brandt and Nadiem Amiri – who came on for the injured Jonas Hofmann – all missed chances before the break.
Neuhaus came closest to scoring for Germany after the interval when he struck the crossbar in the 77th, minutes before Trapp stopped Vydra’s header.
Augsburg defender Felix Uduokhai remained on the bench and did not make his debut after his first call-up for Germany, while goalkeeper Oliver Baumann earlier left the squad as a precaution after a spate of coronavirus cases among other players at his club Hoffenheim.
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