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Page last updated at 22:27 GMT, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 23:27 UK

World Cup 2010: Germany coach Loew wary of England test

Mesut Ozil

Ozil scores Germany's winner against Ghana

Coach Joachim Loew believes Germany will face a "tough job" against England when the two teams meet in the second round of the World Cup on Sunday.

Germany beat Ghana 1-0 to finish top of Group D, while England had to settle for second place in Group C despite beating Slovenia by the same score.

"It's going to be special, there is so much history between us," said Loew.

"They have excellent players and a lot of experience. Wayne Rooney can explode any time - we'll have a tough job."

England struggled in their opening two group games, drawing 1-1 with the United States before failing to score in the stalemate against Algeria.

606: DEBATE

However, Loew predicted that Fabio Capello's side would be formidable opponents.

"I've watched their matches so far - they were struggling in the first two games but that is quite normal, sometimes you only pick up speed as you go through the tournament," he added.

"They haven't shown the best of form so far but make no mistake, this is a wonderful team. England have have enormous experience so this team is going to be incredibly dangerous."

England were on course to win Group C when Jermain Defoe gave them the lead against Slovenia with a close-range effort from James Milner's right-wing cross.

Gary Lineker consoles Paul Gascoigne

1990 - Gazza's tears in Turin

But Landon Donovan's injury-time winner for the United States against Algeria denied them top spot and a Saturday evening clash against Ghana.

England have played Germany on four previous occasions at World Cup finals, the last time in the semi-finals at Italia 90 when Germany won 4-3 on penalties.

The most famous meeting, however, remains the 1966 final at Wembley when England defeated West Germany 4-2 after extra-time.

Reflecting on the performance against Ghana, Loew, who took over as coach from Jurgen Klinsmann in 2006, said his team had not played to their full potential.

"It was a tense game," the 50-year-old said. "We could have made more out of our opportunities. We were not very precise up front.

"But I can't blame my young players, there was a lot of pressure, we had to win."

Bobby Moore lifts the Jules Rimet trophy

1966 - England win World Cup

Loew paid tribute to Mesut Ozil after the 21-year-old Werder Bremen midfielder produced a stunning left-foot strike in the second half to secure the win.

"I told him at half-time break - you've still got a goal in you," Loew added.

Ozil wasted a chance to score in the opening period when he was denied by Ghana keeper Richard Kingson.

"I could have already made it 1-0 in the first-half, so I was a bit annoyed with myself.

"I was disappointed, but I knew that I would score a goal," he said.

Asked about the prospect of taking on England, he added: "It doesn't matter whom we play next, we have to keep winning."



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see also
Highlights - Germany 1-0 Ghana
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Rajevac calls for African support
24 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England spirit delights Capello
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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