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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Hummels: Germany lucky to beat Austria

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Germany defender Mats Hummels admitted his side had been lucky after their 2-1 win over neighbours Austria in World Cup qualifying.

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Austria should have taken a point in Vienna - but winger Marko Arnautovic, who plays in Germany with Bremen, missed a glorious chance with three minutes remaining and Hummels told ARD: "We were lucky. We escaped."

Joachim Low's side went in front when Marco Reus struck a minute before the half time whistle, picking up a Miroslav Klose pass and beating goalkeeper Robert Almer. "It's world class when you exploit the few moments the opponent's pressure drops," the Austria coach, Marcel Koller, admitted.

When Germany doubled their lead after 52 minutes thanks to Mesut Ozil's penalty, they seemed to have made the game safe despite a below-par performance.

But Arnautovic beat Marcel Schmelzer down Germany's left-hand side and set up team-mate Zlatko Junuzovic to score after 57 minutes. Schmelzer had a tough time against Arnautovic, and Low said: "We don't have many alternatives on the left - that's why we have to continue to work with him. I hope he can improve at international level."

Germany's back four and 'keeper Manuel Neuer had problems as Austria attacked in the early stages but failed to exploit their superiority.

The hosts also failed to make the most of their chances late in the game, and Arnautovic said of his miss: "I have to apologise to the whole nation." Junuzovic said: "We did everything right, but did not score enough goals. Now we are left empty-handed."

Thomas Muller admitted Germany had had a difficult night, and added: "It was the tough match we expected. But I prefer winning 2-1 with a lot of hard work than losing after ten stepovers."

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