Thomas Mueller scored his first international goal in three years on Monday as Germany beat Latvia 7-1 in a friendly warm-up before the 2020 Euro Cup final. Latvia, ranked 138th in the world, rarely came out of the middle when Germany prepared for the opening match of the European Championship against Munich, the French world champions, in eight days. After two years in exile from international football, the 2014 World Cup winner, Mueller, entered the scoring tab while Ilkay Gundogan and Premier League star Timo Werner were also found on the Routes.
“The result wasn’t the most important thing, it was about the way we wanted to play football and get things done,” said Mueller, who claimed Germany’s first goal since March 2018.
“It felt good, it was a convincing victory, but we know France will be another proposal, that’s clear.”
German captain Manuel Neuer was applauded by his teammates before the shot, as they became the first goalkeeper to play 100 games for the national team.
The 35-year-old veteran had one of the quietest nights of his career in Düsseldorf.
It was largely untested 15 minutes after Latvian midfielder Aleksejs Saveljevs caught a nap with a goal to console the German defense.
German coach Joachim Loew made four changes when he held on to a 1-1 draw with Denmark.
Chelsea Champions League winner Antonio Ruediger came into the defense with his club teammate Kai Havertz, who played the first half, stunned in front.
He teamed up with Manchester City’s Toni Kroos Real Madrid’s Gundogan in a solid midfield pairing.
The Germans lost little time.
Havertz hatched through the Latvian defense to set up the opener when left-back Robin Gosens scored his first international goal, 86 seconds later Gundogan fell in the second.
Germany came close to a 3-0 lead in the 27th minute when Mueller scored the 39th goal with his 102nd cap.
It was 5-0 at the break when Latvian goalkeeper Robert Ozols put the ball into his own net, and Serge Gnabry scored before the break.
Werner replaced Havertz in the second half and with 50 minutes left Ozols shot between the legs.
The Germans caught themselves taking a nap when Saveljevs ’superb shot went over Neuer’s diving, with San hitting Mueller’s pass before correcting the first empty net.
The win was a timely confidence on the verge of the 2020 Euro finals, but Germany can expect much tougher matches against France and Portugal’s European runners-up in Group F.
“We kept things free until mid-July – anything can happen,” joked Mueller, who was scheduled for the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium in London on July 11th.
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