World Cup news

Low blasts fans for Neuer criticism

March 27, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Joachim Low has hit out at Germany supporters after they booed goalkeeper Manuel Neuer following his mistake during the side's 4-1 World Cup qualifying win against Kazakhstan.

Despite strolling into a 3-0 lead at half-time with a dominant display, Low's team failed to kill off the match and allowed their opponents back into the game. Kazakhstan's Heinrich Schmidtgal scored just a minute into the second half after Neuer had lost the ball while trying to dribble inside his box.

The German fans used every opportunity to whistle and boo the Bayern Munich man after the blunder - something Low feels was very harsh.

"I didn't like that Neuer was whistled at after his mistake," Low said. "He is up there with the best keepers in the world and made one mistake. That he was accompanied by irony for the rest of the game, I think that is unsportsmanlike."

Neuer himself, however, put his hands up for the error and accepts his mistake made things difficult for his side.

"You usually don't just hand out presents. But I did that today and I want to apologise for it," he said. "That was the initial spark for a bad second half of ours. I will not buy a round of beers tonight. I don't feel like it."

Low was pleased, though, with the performance of Ilkay Gundogan, who was deputising for the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder, who has recently been linked with a move to Barcelona, had 149 touches of the ball and a passing accuracy of 91.4%, while he scored one and set up another.

"We will need him in the upcoming months and years," Low said. "He has taken a giant leap. He has become a very, very important player for us."