Germany wary of second group game letdown

Germany are wary of a second-game letdown at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, after slipping up against Serbia at the same point four years ago.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer warned Germany must analyse their 4-0 thumping of Portugal honestly ahead of their second match against Ghana, claiming his team were quite lucky in the Group G encounter in Salvador on Monday.

In South Africa four years ago, Germany started the World Cup with a 4-0 demolition of Australia but were stunned 1-0 by Serbia in their second game before edging out Ghana by the same scoreline at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

Speaking to the German Football Association's website, Neuer maintained Germany must improve on their performance against Portugal if they are to defeat Ghana at Fortaleza's Estadio Governador Placido Aderaldo Castelo on Saturday.

"I think that we can only be partially satisfied with how we played," the 28-year-old said.

"In assessing this game, we have to be honest: we got a penalty, they got a red card – basically everything went our way in this game.

"In the second half we controlled things with a man advantage but we have to realise that the opponent had opportunities. It wasn't all perfect."

Germany defender Per Mertesacker is set to play his 100th game for his country against Ghana and the Arsenal man knows how tough the Africans will be.

Mertesacker was part of the German side that needed a powerful second-half strike from Mesut Ozil to overcome Ghana in 2010.

"It (the game) was on a knife's edge the entire time," the veteran said.

"But then we were saved thanks to Mesut Ozil's goal."


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