Germany Coach Joachim Low has referred to his team which had a dramatic last minute win over a tough Sweden outfit as "the sleeping giants" who have "finally awoken."
Speaking at a post-match press conference in Sochi this evening, after his charges who were reduced to ten players in the 82nd minute following Jerome Boateng's sending off, pulled off a dramatic Houdini-like escape in the Group F encounter at the Fisht Stadium to rescue their World Cup hopes which seemed hanging by a thread until a stunning Toni Kroos strike from a free kick deep into second half injury time breathed new life back into the Defending World Champions and earned them three vital points, Low had this to say:
"I told my boys that the Mexico game was the wake up call that we needed to start playing the brand of football that we know we are capable of playing. Before this game today I gave them a good talk in the dressing-room. I told them that we must avoid the fates which befell the two previous Champions Spain and Italy who crashed out embarrassingly in at the group stages in 2010 and 2014 respectively. We Germans are not like the Spanish and the Italians. We always fight to the death and give it one hundred percent on the pitch. It isn't over with us until the final whistle is blown."
Asked what he told his charges in the dressing-room when the Swedes went in at half-time 1-0 up, Low replied:
"I told them that we needed to make quick passes, cover ground to tire out Sweden and then open up spaces, which we were able to do. In the second half the pressure we built up was increasingly strong. We obviously also didn't score on a couple of clear opportunities but what I did appreciate was the spirit of the team. We never lost hope that we could turn the tide and win this match."
"This was only our second win this year but it is clear to everybody now as day follows night that the sleeping giants have finally awoken and frankly speaking I think that it's about time. We have one more game against the already-eliminated South Koreans in Kazan on Wednesday and we are not under-estimating them one bit. Our aim is to score about four or five goals against them and hope that Sweden beats Mexico by two goals to nil so that the Swedes will finish second in the group and that we will win the group and hopefully play Switzerland or Serbia in the round of sixteen."
He concluded the press conference by making a statement that did seem to contradict what he said earlier about his team being "sleeping giants" who have "finally awoken" though, when he said:
"The prospect of us facing Brazil so early in the tournament scares the hell out of me especially with memories of the Belo Horizonte massacre of four years ago still fresh in their minds. I'm afraid that they might be quite keen to return the favour."