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Czech Republic

Late Trapp save preserves 1-0 win over Czech Republic

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

Two German National Team debutants made their senior side debuts in a friendly against the Czech Republic at Leipzig's RedBull Arena. 

Joachim Löw's Nationalmannschaft prevailed 1-0 in their first of three fixtures in the November international break. 
Kevin Trapp.
Kevin Trapp.Photo: Кирилл Венедиктов/Soccer.ru/CC-by-SA 3.0
A highly experimental version of Germany's Nationalelf remained convincing over the course of the initial 45 minutes in Leipzig. Slower play and defensive lapses after the restart were not punished by their Czech opponents.

Bundestrainer Löw gave national team debuts to former Augsburg defender Philipp Max and second-choice call up Ridle Baku of VfL Wolfsburg. Both players served as pseudo wingbacks in a 3-4-3 anchored by Robin Koch. The former Freiburg and current Leeds center-half partnered with Jonathan Tah and Antonio Rüdiger on the last defensive axis.

Florian Neuhaus and Ilkay Gündogan worked in central midfield butrressing wingers Julian Brandt and Jonas Hofmann. Luca Waldschmidt took up the center-forward position. Waldschmidt scored the game's only goal in the 13th minute, knocking in a square ball from Max after Czech keeper Jiri Pavlenka made a sprawling save on a Neuhaus effort. Werder Bremen's #1 was unable to get back up off the ground in time to stop the effort.

Baku, Gündoğan, and Max all spurned clear chances at goal before the half was out. Löw's XI continued to generate chances after the restart and might have been awarded a handball penalty in the 51st had VAR been in use. The team began to noticeably wilt thereafter, not able to produce crisp passing, string together possession spells, or even get another opportunity in front of goal until the 77th.

Neuhaus broke the midfield stalemate with two late efforts, the first of which hit the crossbar. He would miss outright in the 80th. The last best chance came from the guests in the 82nd. Trapp deftly parried a Metjej Vydra header to preserve the scoreline.

Löw used only three substitutions in the match. One came after an early injury to Hofmann. Leverkusen's Nadiem Amiri came on for the Gladbach midfielder in the 20th. Mahmoud Dahoud relieved Gündogan at the restart. Nico Schulz played in place of Max for the final 21 minutes.

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