Youngest-ever Germany holds Poland in World Cup warm-up
Germany kicked-off their World Cup finals preparations with their youngest-ever side holding Poland to a goalless draw on Tuesday with the Hamburg crowd jeering the result after the final whistle.
With 13 of his squad involved in Saturday's German Cup final when Bayern Munich play Borussia Dortmund, Germany coach Joachim Loew named eight debutants in his starting eleven, which had a combined total of just 13 caps.
"That was fun, we had a crazy amount of debutants in the team, but they did their jobs very well," enthused Loew as a toal of 12 players ultimately made their debuts after substitutions.
"We were well organised and played well going forward. Even without the goals it was a fun game."
It was the youngest side ever named -- with an average aged of 21.45 -- in the 106-year history of German Football Association (DFB) internationals, beating the previous record of 21.5 for a 1908 international against Switzerland.
Several youngsters did enough to impress the coach in the first of three pre-World Cup friendlies with matches against Cameroon and Armenia to come.
However, it remains to be seen who stays in when the squad will be cut to 25 or 26 players on Wednesday before later being reduced to the definitive 23 who Loew will take to the World Cup.
Of the starting side against Poland, only captain Julian Draxler has a realistic chance of lining up to face Portugal in Germany's Group G opener in Salvador on June 16.
"When you are named German captain at the age of 20, that says a few things," admitted Draxler.
"It was almost an Under-21 side out there today.
"When you've only had a training session it's tough to take all the things on board, so we've done well."
Schalke's promising trio of left-wing Draxler, attacking midfielder Max Meyer, 18, and right-wing Leon Goretzka, 19, had their first run out for the senior national side having all risen through the junior ranks, with play-maker Meyer comfortable on the ball without dazzling.
Hoffenheim's 21-year-old striker Kevin Volland had a few half chances up front as he played the first half, while at the other end Poland's defensive midfielder Mateusz Klich forced Germany goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler into a save with half an hour gone.
With his side not going to Brazil, Poland coach Adam Nawalka left out his Dortmund stars in striker Robert Lewandowski and right-back Lukasz Piszczek.
Southampton's veteran goalkeeper Artur Boruc captaining the side with Werder Bremen striker Ludovic Obraniak playing up front.
The opening half was a low-key affair with Germany in control despite their inexperience, while Poland were always dangerous on the counter-attack, but all too often their efforts petered out.
Stuttgart's Antonio Ruediger's 32nd-minute header was the Germans best chance of the opening half.
Augsburg's Andre Hahn, who came on for the second half, squandered a great chance to grab the winner six minutes from time when his bicycle kick failed to beat Boruc.
Despite the whistles of discontent from the 37,000-strong crowd at the final whistle, at least Germany had protected their proud record of never having lost to their neighbours in 18 meetings.