Germany manager Joachim Low has refused to offer an extensive explanation for his side’s shocking 4-4 draw at home to Sweden, admitting that the entire dressing room was left speechless after throwing away a four-goal advantage.
A pair of early goals from Miroslav Klose and a goal apiece from Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker and Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil propelled Germany into a comfortable lead in Berlin before chaos ensued in the final half hour.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mikael Lustig hit back with two goals within two minutes and with 14 minutes still left to play, Johan Elmander pulled back another to put Low’s complacent side on the alert.
However, no amount of alertness was able to stop Sweden’s remarkable comeback, with Rasmus Elm scoring late in stoppage time to secure an incredible draw for the visitors.
Low was evidently shocked following the dramatic finish to the Group C match and had few words to describe his team’s inexplicable slip-up.
“I cannot explain it so soon after the game has finished. It is hard to explain how we could throw away such an advantage. To throw away a 4-0 lead is normally impossible. I am shocked. I have never experienced anything like it. Everybody in the dressing room is stunned to silence; we are speechless,” the manager was quoted on FIFA’s official website.
He added: “It must be a problem in the head – when you are 4-0 up, you think it is all over, but what was symptomatic was in the last minute when we had a free-kick in their half.
“The ball ended up being played back to (Manuel) Neuer rather than going into the corner and vehemently defending the ball there. We passed it back, then we lost possession and they score. It’s inexplicable.
“It is very hard to say what it came down to. But for 60 minutes, we were sensational and there was no sign of what was to come. We are incredibly disappointed.”
While silence prevailed throughout the German dressing room, skipper Philipp Lahm attempted to restore motivation by urging his usually steady teammates to avoid such a collapse at all costs in the future.
“When you lead 4-0 then only draw 4-4, then something has gone wrong. Something like this should never happen to a top team. Clearly we felt it was done and dusted at 4-0, and that is only normal too, but then we lost concentration, made mistakes, lost our organization and suddenly Sweden score four goals,” the Bayern Munich left-back concluded with frustration.
In the night’s other big story, France rescued a late draw against Spain in Madrid courtesy of a late equalizer from Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.
Scotland and Wales both fell short in 2-0 losses away to Belgium and Croatia, respectively. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland earned an impressive 1-1 draw in Portugal.
Headlines were made beyond Europe too, as a strong Uruguay side was hammered 4-1 in Bolivia and Canada was destroyed emphatically by Honduras with an 8-1 final score.
Last but not least, England’s postponed qualifier away to Poland is set for kick-off at 4pm UK time this evening.