World Cup 2010 Qualifying: Germany vs. Finland
Germany takes on Finland in Hamburg tonight for its final World Cup qualifying match having sealed its berth for next year’s tournament with a 1-0 away victory against Russia on Saturday.
Die Mannschaft join fellow European giants England, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands who have already qualified for South Africa. And now that the Germans have won Group Four, coach Joachim Loew has decided to experiment with his side against the Eurasian Eagle-owls.
Loew said he wants to use this game, along with friendlies next month against Chile and Egypt, as a way to give younger players a chance to prove themselves. He said the game “should be fun but we will approach it an all seriousness.”
Hoffenheim defender Andreas Beck and Hamburg midfielder Piotr Trochowski will both start while Stuttgart striker Cacau will partner Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez up front.
Captain Michael Ballack will play only half the game or 60 minutes and be replaced by Wolfsburg’s Christian Gendtner.
The match kicks-off at 6:00 p.m. CET (12:00 p.m. ET).
UPDATE: Koln striker Lukas Podolski scored in the 90th minute, giving Germany a 1-1 draw against Finland on Wednesday night.