Saudi national football team loses 1-2 in a friendly against Germany

Friendly international round-up: Germany squeeze past Saudi Arabia

Title-holders Germany will play Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F, while Saudi Arabia will face hosts Russia, Egypt and Uruguay in Group A.

Saudi Arabia wrapped up their World Cup preparations with a 2-1 loss to Germany in Leverkusen on Friday, but having outplayed the world champions for periods of the second-half, Juan Antonio Pizzi says his side can take great belief going into the tournament's opening match on Thursday against hosts Russian Federation.

Players of Germany celebrate after winning the worldwide friendly match between Germany and Saudi Arabia at Bay Arena on June 8, 2018 in Leverkusen, Germany.

The result arguably does more for Saudi Arabia's hopes than Germany.

But Taiseer Al-Jassam pulled one back.

Ilkay Gundogan was booed by German fans in his team's final World Cup warm-up game, as supporters expressed anger over a controversial meeting the player attended in May with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Croatia battled back from an Ismaila Sarr opener to defeat Senegal 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric and Switzerland continued their impressive form with a 2-0 win over Japan.

Karim Ansarifard scored from the edge of the box in the 88th minute to spare Iran's blushes in a 1-0 win over Lithuania.

And Gundogan was roundly booed by large swaths of German fans on Friday after coming on as a substitute against the Saudis.

"He's a member of the national team and that (booing) does not help anyone", said an irritated Low.

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"The topic has to be ticked off".

Both Gundogan, who insists meeting Erdogan was "never about making a political statement", and Ozil, who sat out Friday's friendly, were born in Gelsenkirchen to Turkish parents.

When Gundogan came off the bench, Loew signalled to the Leverkusen crowd to cheer the Man City star, but to no avail.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the game, he said: "We've gone over the Austria game thoroughly with the coaches and analysts".

Germany wobbled and were lucky as Al-Sahlawi squandered a golden chance to restore parity from very close in the dying minutes of the clash.

"I know that we have to improve, but when the tournament starts, we'll be ready". We allowed too many chances and wasted many promising opportunities.

"Not all passes found their mark, but we had a lot of chances up front".

"Maybe we were lacking a bit of strength after the (two-week) training camp but next week we will be fresher and stronger", Loew said. "Next week we'll be sharper, more dynamic and have even more power".

Pleasingly from a German perspective, captain Manuel Neuer kept a clean sheet in his 45-minute spell in goal.

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