Germans survive test of endurance, but Loew unimpressed
Cameroon come from behind to claim 2-2 draw in friendly with Germany, while France also held by Paraguay
Agence France-Presse in Paris
Germany and France were held to draws while Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku scored for Belgium in the latest batch of World Cup warm-ups on Sunday.
Fellow Brazil-bound Cameroon came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw against Germany.
All four goals came in an entertaining second-half as Cameroon, coached by German Volker Finke, came within a whisker of a historic first win over Germany.
The Africans took a shock lead through another Chelsea player, Samuel Eto’o, on 62 minutes only for Germany to equalise four minutes later through Thomas Mueller.
German replacement Andre Schuerrle then gave the hosts the lead before Cameroon left-wing Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, who plies his trade in the Bundesliga for Mainz 05, popped up with the 78th-minute equaliser.
Germany coach Joachim Loew was unimpressed with his side’s display, especially from Arsenal’s midfielder Mesut Ozil, who produced a low-key performance.
“On the one hand they were a good opponent and a real test of our endurance,” said Loew. “But you could see that the freshness was missing from our game. Our passing game was not good and we made many, many mistakes.
“Mesut Ozil did not have one of his best days. He needs two more weeks, then we’ll see a strong Mesut at the World Cup.”Down on a rainy Cote d’Azur, Franck Ribery started on the bench in France’s 1-1 stalemate with Paraguay.
Substitute Antoine Griezman had appeared to give the French victory when he curled home an 82nd right foot shot before Victor Caceres silenced the partisan crowd in Nice, flicking home an 89th minute equaliser.
The match was the second Brazil build-up for Deschamps’ side after they brushed aside Norway 4-0 last Tuesday.
Ribery, recovering from a back injury, is due to play some part in France’s final tune-up against Jamaica.
“I’ve already spoken about it and I have nothing new to add. We’ll do everything so he’s ready for next Sunday,” Deschamps said when quizzed about his key player’s fitness.
“We can’t win every match 4-0 but there were a lot of good things tonight,” added Deschamps.
“On the free kick at the end, we probably retreated too much into our own box but we were playing a good team who know how to defend.
“We were not at full strength but we had good intentions and there were positives.”
Hazard and Lukaku were on the mark in Belgium’s 2-0 win over Sweden.
Coming after last week’s 5-1 drubbing of Luxembourg the result offered further proof of the side’s wellbeing ahead of their group H assignment in Brazil against Algeria, Russia and South Korea.
Against a Swedish side missing their emblematic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic Belgium dominated throughout.
Lukaku, on loan to Everton last season, set Marc Wilmots’ side on the path to victory in the 34th minute, with Hazard doubling up after the break.
Belgium have one final warm-up scheduled, against Tunisia in Brussels on Saturday.
The United States continued their World Cup preparations with a 2-1 triumph over Turkey.
German-born Fabien Johnson, one of US manager Juergen Klinsmann’s army of young, dual-citizenship footballers, made his first strike for the Stars and Stripes an impressive one, combining with US veteran Michael Bradley for a superb 26th-minute goal that gave the United States a 1-0 lead.
American veteran Clint Dempsey exploited a lapse in the Turkish defence to double the score in the 52nd minute.
Turkey pulled one goal back in the 90th minute with a penalty by Selcuk Inan.