Germany ease to victory as Bastian Schweinsteiger says goodbye
International friendly, Borussia-Park - Germany 2 (Meyer 55, Ozil 77) Finland 0
Schweinsteiger captained the side as he made his 121st and final appearance for Die Nationalmannschaft, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as he thanked the German fans for their support and spoke of his pride to represent his country.
Schweinsteiger enjoyed a comfortable 67 minutes in midfield and even stopped to offer a selfie to a fan who sprinted onto the pitch, before the former Bayern Munich man was given an ovation as he left the field.
Germany were already in control of the game at that point courtesy of Max Meyer’s close range finish from Mario Gotze’s cross.
Gotze was the provider again for the second, this time assisting for substitute Ozil, whose low cross took a slight deflection and went in off the post.
Is Schweinsteiger leaving at the right time? With Toni Kroos still at the peak of his powers and the likes of Max Meyer and Julian Weigl coming through, the time is right for Schweinsteiger to step aside. Indeed, he may even wish he’d done so after the World Cup. For a player dogged by injury problems in the past couple of years, this should help him play regularly at club level – but where that will be remains to be seen.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Max Meyer (Germany): Enjoyed an energetic and fruitful game in attacking midfield, capping an effervescent display with the opening goal. Showed willingness to get forward at every opportunity and can expect games in the Germany midfield as the World Cup qualification games gets underway.
Bastian Schweinsteiger before the match.Reuters
25’ - Off the line! Meyer drives forward on the break and plays a nicely weighted ball for Volland, who clips the ball past the goalkeeper, but Finland skipper Niklas Moisander clears.
27’ - Off the post! Germany almost score with a crazy own goal! Hector's low cross comes off the outside of Paulus Arajuuri's boot and off the frame of the goal. Would have been some finish!
32’ - Gotze chance! The Borussia Dortmund man seemed certain to score when Meyer put him one-on-one, but Gotze rounds the keeper and runs into traffic and eventually his shot is blocked. Finland had three players back on the line there!
53’ - Close! Volland shows great strength and determination to hold off Lam and deliver a cross from the left, but it flashes across goal and Gotze is unable to stretch far enough to reach it.
55’ - GOAL! Germany 1-0 Finland - Meyer scores! Germany finally make the breakthrough as Gotze crosses from the right, it goes past Volland but it reaches Meyer, who slides it home from close range.
61’ A nice moment, that gets the biggest cheer of the night - a fan runs onto the pitch to take a selfie with Bastian Schweinsteiger, who duly obliges. What a guy!
65’ - Germany double chance! Mustafi can't quite connect properly with a cross to the far post, Gotze follows up but his shot is shot is deflected over the top.
77’ - GOAL! Germany 2-0 Finland - Ozil scores! Gotze's clever reverse pass finds Ozil in space. The Arsenal man is actually trying to cross for Brandt, but the ball takes a slight deflection off Arajuuri and goes in off the post.