After Germany master class, coach Loew demands improvement

Reuters , Sunday 26 Jun 2016

Germany's coach Joachim Loew reacts during the Euro 2016 round of 16 football match between Germany and Slovakia at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille on June 26, 2016. / (AFP)

Germany thundered into the Euro 2016 quarter-finals with a classy 3-0 victory over Slovakia, but coach Joachim Loew said his side still needed to improve if they want to end their 20-year wait for a fourth continental title.

Apart from a missed penalty by Mesut Ozil, Germany totally dominated the game and set up a meeting with either Italy or Spain, who are likely to be tougher opponents.

"It was a good performance, in defence and attack, but I think that with all respect to our opponents, I don't think we can say we have set a marker with today's match," Loew told a news conference.

"We need to be stronger at decisive moments in the match. The first sides we've played were not top 10 teams," he added.

Germany will face tougher opposition, he said, and will need to improve. Loew said he was happy that his side showed a lot of attacking threat, not just relying on striker Mario Gomez.

"I'm happy that the defence worked well, but now we will play against a lot more dangerous sides with top strikers. Now we will face a lot of quality," he said.

Loew said his team would have to be much more careful in possession and not give any space that better sides would exploit.

"We have to put away our chances. We will get fewer chances, in any case fewer than today or against Northern Ireland," he said.

Slovakia coach Jan Kozak acknowledged his side had lost to a better team and said Germany could go all the way.

"They just know when to really play well. They have really started their tournament today. Their link-up play was excellent," he said.

Slovakia midfielder Marek Hamsik said Germany were good enough to win.

"The Germans really dominated the game and played some excellent football.... They haven't conceded a goal and they proved their strength. But they will face Italy or Spain and then be put to the test."

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