/ Labels: Sweden vs Germany Friendly
An experimental Germany side played to a scoreless draw against Sweden in a match that saw four young Germans earn their first international caps at the senior level. Marcel Schmelzer and Lewis Holtby started the match, and Andre Schuerrle and Mario Goetze came in for the final 12 minutes. For Sweden, Alexander Gernt made his first appearance as a late substitute.
While the day was monumental for the debutants, the actual play from both teams left much to be desired. In a very slow-paced first half, opportunities on goal were few and far between. Schmelzer tested Andreas Isaksson with a low blast on 35 minutes, and Sami Khedira flicked a volley just wide of the right post before half-time.
For the hosts, Christian Wilhelmsson did well to beat his marker, but his cut back was just behind Ola Toivonen, who couldn't quite direct his shot towards goal. Pontus Wernbloom also had a half chance on 28 minutes, but looped his effort well over the bar.
The match heated up after the break, but chances still came at a premium, and the game lost its fluency as a number of substitutions were made on the hour mark. Germany substitute Toni Kroos, who replaced the impressive Marko Marin, looked bright on occasion, and forced a fine save from Isaksson with 20 minutes left.
Other than his effort and a wayward finish from Holtby, there was little coherence from either side going forward, and the match ended in a scoreless draw.
While the match was no wonder-debut for any of those who earned a maiden cap, Germany and Sweden will both take positives from tonight's encounter. Hummels and Schmelzer impressed at the back for the visitors, and appear to have bright futures.
For Sweden, the result was positive after their collapse against the Netherlands in their last Euro qualifier.