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Australia 2 – 3 Germany: THT Man of the Match – Julian Draxler

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The young German side triumphed in a thrilling encounter against Australia as they were brilliantly lead by Julian Draxler and picked three crucial points.

Germany came into this game as the favourites to win but they received a tough fight from Australia as the Socceroos fought tooth and nail to best their opponent. Led by 23-year-old captain Julian Draxler, the Germans ensured that did not happen and sealed a victory in their opening game of the Confederations Cup.

While some may argue that Germany should’ve been less generous in letting the opposition score, what matters is that they still managed to out-class Australia and brought themselves back in the game and Draxler has truly proven that he not only talented but also a good leader under pressure.

Germany dominated the Australians for good chunks of the game and although Lars Stindl, Julian Draxler and Leon Goretzka all netted for Germany, Draxler particularly stood out because he had to deal with the added responsibility of being a captain even during nervy moments when Rogic and Juric managed to score.

Draxler displayed an amazing sense of calmness and composure and did his duty diligently on field. He established good control over the midfield and worked with his teammates to allow a smooth transition from defensive football to attacking plays which set them up for the victory.

The German midfielder’s flawless penalty pushed the reigning World Cup champions to a 2-1 lead right before half time and Australia were level with them only for roughly three minutes.

The penalty chance came up when Goretzka broke into the area, and was clumsily chopped down by Luongo, and the young captain made sure that chance did not go to waste.

What makes Draxler’s role in the victory all the more incredible is when one considers how far he has come from being an unused substitute in the 2014 World Cup final win over Argentina, to playing as a captain and slotting a goal against an unusually strong Australian side in the Confederations Cup this year.

In fact, once the Socceroos scored the second goal, the atmosphere became extremely tense and even Loew looked like he had a shadow of doubt on his face. However, Draxler and the team quickly rose from the setback and put up a strong defence to restrict the resilient Australian attack.

Rightfully adjudged the Man of the Match, Draxler will easily be considered one of the key men as the world champions set their sight on winning the Confederations Cup.

Close Contender: Julian Brandt

Bayer Leverkusen’s 21-year-old midfielder put up impressive performances for the German club but their high-octane year of ups and downs pretty much overshadowed the youngster’s growth.

He has clearly been developing as time went on and against Australia, he was absolutely terrific. His run and pass set up Germany’s first goal which came within the first five minutes. Brandt set down the right and reached the byline as he gently cut back to Stindl, who managed to slot the ball home.

Brandt posed a serious threat to Australia throughout the match and ripped their defence apart with a sense of ease. There were times when the Socceroos started shifting their midfield to his side just to keep him in check and that goes to show the kind of impact he had on the game.

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