November 15, 2018 / 9:58 PM / 6 months ago

Soccer-New-look Germany ease past Russians 3-0 in friendly

LEIPZIG, Nov 15 (Reuters) - A new-look Germany comfortably beat Russia 3-0 in a friendly on Thursday with all the goals coming in the first half as they seek to end their annus horribilis on a positive note.

Leroy Sane, Niklas Suele and Serge Gnabry secured the victory for a side with just two 2014 World Cup winners in the starting lineup — goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Matthias Ginter.

Germany were soon off the mark with Gnabry sending the speedy Sane through and the Manchester City winger grabbed his first international goal in the eighth minute.

Defender Suele also got his first Germany goal when he was left unmarked in the box to slot home from a corner in the 25th.

The Russians, World Cup hosts this year, were missing several players through injury and rarely ventured forward.

Gnabry then turned scored in the 40th, firing in from a superb Kai Havertz through ball, to cap a strong first period by the hosts.

In a subdued second half play was constantly interrupted by a dozen substitutions in total.

Germany coach Joachim Loew fielded a young starting 11, leaving the experienced Mats Hummels and Thomas Mueller on the bench while fellow World Cup winner Jerome Boateng was not called up and Toni Kroos was given a break.

The 19-year-old Havertz and Sane, 22, were a constant headache for the Russian defence, with 23-year-old Gnabry also confirming his fine form this season.

The Germans, who play their last Nations League group match against the Netherlands on Monday, had a terrible year, crashing out of the World Cup in their earliest exit in 80 years.

They managed one point from three Nations League matches and could be relegated from Group 1 in League A, while they also suffered a total of six defeats in a year for the first time. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Ken Ferris)

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