- Germany beat Finland 2-0 at the BORUSSIA-PARK
- Schweinsteiger makes final international appearance
- Meyer and Özil score second-half goals
Former FC Bayern München star Bastian Schweinsteiger's final Germany appearance ended in a 2-0 friendly victory against Finland at the BORUSSIA-PARK, Max Meyer and Mesut Özil scoring the second-half goals.
Germany 2-0 Finland
Goals: 1-0 Meyer (55'), 2-0 Özil (78')
After an emotional goodbye to 2014 FIFA World Cup winner Schweinsteiger, Germany began as they would go on, relentlessly knocking the ball from side to side in search of an opening.
Indeed, almost the entirety of the first 45 minutes took place inside the Finland half, but only Karim Bellarabi carried any real threat in the opening stages. The world champions improved towards the break, and after Jonas Hector's low cross came back off the post, both Mario Götze and debutant Niklas Süle went close to an opener.
The hosts' pressure paid off ten minutes into the second period, FC Schalke 04 youngster Meyer arriving late into the box and calmly steering Götze's low cross past a helpless Lukas Hradecky. Götze was involved in Germany's next best chance, although his close-range shot was well deflected over in the 65th minute.
There was an opportunity for the crowd to applaud Germany's captain one final time: Schweinsteiger took his curtain call in the closing stages, replaced by Julian Weigl, before Özil rounded off the scoring 12 minutes from time.
Man of the Match
While at points Schweinsteiger exerted the influence of old, he will have been as pleased as anybody to have seen another calm, assured display from Joshua Kimmich in defence. FC Bayern's versatile youngster seems certain to start against Norway at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo on Sunday night in the first game of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.
The significance of Weigl replacing Schweinsteiger was lost on nobody: this was Germany's future replacing its past and present. The Borussia Dortmund youngster may have big boots to fill, but his performances until now underline that he is more than capable of playing a major role in Die Nationalmannschaft's post-Schweinsteiger future.
- This was Süle's first appearance for the Germany senior side.
- It was also Schweinsteiger's final international appearance, the FC Bayern legend winning his 121st cap.
- Meyer's goal was his first for his country.
Germany: ter Stegen (Leno, 46') - Kimmich, Mustafi, Süle (Tah, 58') – Schweinsteiger (c) (Weigl, 67') – Bellarabi, Meyer, Hector (Özil, 63') – Brandt (Müller, 78'), Volland, Götze
Coach: Joachim Löw
Finland: Hradecky - Lam, Arajuuri (Ojala, 82'), Moisander (c) - Raitala, Ring, Halsti (Mattila, 72'), Lod (Schüller, 60'), Uronen (Saksela, 60') – Hämäläinen (Pukki, 46'), Pohjanpalo (Markkanen, 72')
Coach: Hans Backe