Germany held in Serbia friendly
Leon Goretzka came off the bench to equalise as Germany snatched a 1-1 draw with Serbia in their international friendly in Wolfsburg.
Joachim Low’s new-look side, who begin their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign against Holland this weekend, needed time to warm up after falling behind to a 12th-minute Luka Jovic header.
It was not until the second half that Germany began to threaten regularly and Goretzka levelled on 69 minutes after combining with fellow substitute Marco Reus.
Serbia lost their discipline in the closing minutes and Milan Pavkov was shown a straight red card in stoppage-time for a horrendous challenge on Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.
Germany had an early chance as Lukas Klostermann dragged a shot wide inside the first minute and Kai Havertz also got into a good position only to shoot at goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.
The hosts were made to rue those misses when Jovic headed Serbia ahead following a corner. Joshua Kimmich’s attempted clearance hit Nemanja Maksimovic and looped towards Jovic, who powered a header past Manuel Neuer.
Serbia were well organised but Germany almost seized a chance to level when they broke from deep but Dmitrovic denied Timo Werner with his feet.
The visitors carved out another good chance when Darko Lazovic played in Jovic but Klostermann thwarted him with a fine tackle.
Klostermann then did well at the other end to get behind the defence and his pull back worked its way to Werner, sliding in at the far post, but again Dmitrovic saved.
Serbia should have doubled the lead before the break when a swift break led to Lazovic teeing up Adem Ljajic but he scooped the ball over. Jonathan Tah also got a foot in to deny Nikola Milenkovic.
Germany improved considerably after the interval and Reus showed brilliant control to take the ball on his chest and jink through the area to test Dmitrovic.
Sane also began to threaten and he headed at Dmitrovic before playing in City team-mate Ilkay Gundogan with a neat flick. Gundogan looked certain to score as he rounded Dmitrovic but Maksimovic slid in to clear off the line.
The equaliser came as Reus picked out fellow substitute Goretzka and the Bayern Munich midfielder took a touch to wrong foot a defender and blast home. Germany sought more with Sane forcing two more saves from Dmitrovic.
The closing stages became fractious and Sane responded to a poor challenge from Branko Jovicic by pushing his opponent in the chest. Sane was then the victim of a terrible lunge from Pavkov and the referee had no hesitation in showing the red card.
There were fears Sane may have suffered serious injury to his ankle but he eventually got to his feet and was immediately substituted.