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Ozil defends Germany after media slating

ESPN staff
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ESPN FC: Germany not living up to expectations

Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil has targeted World Cup glory after his side sealed their progress into the round of 16 - but the German media are less than impressed with their side.

The Arsenal player looked ahead after Germany's 1-0 in over the US, who qualified with them, ensured that they topped Group G - but newspapers in Ozil's homeland slated the unconvincing performance.

"We absolutely want to win the World Cup," Ozil said. "That's why we are here. We are not here to reach the last 16 and get eliminated. Every nation knows how strong we are."

But the German media did not share that confidence, despite Joachim Low's side taking seven points from their three group games. "They need to show more," broadsheet FAZ headlined.

Suddeutsche Zeitung said: "Too early to celebrate," adding: "Germany were superior for most of the match, but they only scored once." Referring to the experiment of playing Thomas Muller, Ozil and Lukas Podolski in attacking positions, they said: "When you don't have a player up front, you can rarely score a goal."

German tactics guru Tobias Escher, writing in Die Welt, said: "Possession-based football is dead: the obituaries have been written. But apparently this news has not reached the Campo Bahia [the German World Cup base] yet. Joachim Low's XI offers evidence that Spain's elimination is not the end of possession-based football."

He said Germany still needed to improve in the final third, and lacked dominance and danger in front of goal because the ball went out to the wings too often.

However, Bayern Munich's Muller drew praise for his performance and winning goal. "Muller, you rain god!" German tabloid Bild headlined.

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