Germany coach Joachim Low said his team had been “naive” in conceding a late equaliser to the Republic of Ireland last night.
After losing to Poland at the weekend, Germany fell way short of their self-proclaimed goal of six points in October’s qualifiers when John O’Shea levelled Toni Kroos’ goal with the last kick of the game in Gelsenkirchen.
“I think it was Ireland’s one and only chance of the game, so of course we’re disappointed,” Low told Germany’s RTL television.
“We were a bit naive in the final minutes. I have no clear explanation for it right now. We weren’t keeping the balls and, in the last five, six or seven minutes, we lost a few balls in midfield or at the back and we ended up playing long balls and that wasn’t right.
“Once we scored, we should have played down the clock comfortably then.”
The result leaves the world champions three points off the pace in a group led by Ireland and Poland. They are also level with Scotland, whom they only beat narrowly in their opening qualifying match.
Without wanting to make any excuses, Low says a hangover from winning the World Cup is a plausible explanation.
“Of course you do see that some of the players involved in the World Cup have missed a break,” he said. “The physical freshness is not there, but we also need to organise better at the back.
“We lacked a bit of width and depth and it was relatively easy for Ireland to defend as it was too tight.
“It was better in the second half, but we didn’t reward ourselves by scoring a second goal.”
That second goal could have come from the penalty spot, but Mario Gotze had no explanation why one was not given when he went to ground inside the area.
“It was a clear penalty – I didn’t want to wrestle with him,” said the Bayern Munich midfielder.
“I wanted to get away from him so you’ll have to ask the referee what he saw.”
Germany have the chance to put things right next month when they take on Gibraltar at home before away games against Georgia and Gibraltar follow next year.
“We will gather all our strength next year and hit back,” promised Low.