Russian blow for Germany
By Thomas Zeh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bastian Schweinsteiger was the star of Germany's draw with Russia.
Germany's Confederations Cup preparations suffered a late blow when Aleksandr Kerzhakov's injury-time strike helped Russia to a 2-2 draw in Monchengladbach.
Two goals from outstanding midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich helped Jurgen Klinsmann's side to recover from Alexander Anyukov's opener.
The hosts dominated large parts of the match against a Russian team, which played very deep but looked dangerous on the break and profited from Germany's unconvincing defence.
Germanu boss Klinsmann was pleased with his team's overall performance, but slammed the lack of concentration towards the end of the game.
"It's a pity that we conceded such a late goal as we had turned the game around in our favour. Our flow of combinations was nice to watch but obviously we were lacking some co-ordination," declared the former Tottenham star, who defended Michael Ballack after a disappointing performance.
"The Russians had five men in defence and often Michael faced two opponents when he had possession. He had his problems, but then others jumped in and tried to run our game," explained Klinsman, who gave special praise to Schweinsteiger.
"He's been in outstanding form all season and it was great to see him scoring twice, I am thrilled by how he is handling his learning process."
Schweinsteiger believes that Germany need to build on their latest performances.
"Obviously we wanted to win, but, despite the late equaliser, we gained plenty of self-confidence for the Confederations Cup," stressed the 20-year-old, who recently signed a new contract with Bayern Munich, keeping him at the club until 2009.
The Germans now have less than one week to prepare for their match against Australia when they kick off their Confederations Cup campaign on June 15.