International friendlies - Germany held by Poland in Hamburg friendly

A second-string Germany team launched the country's World Cup preparations with a lacklustre 0-0 draw against Poland in a friendly international on Tuesday less than a month before the start of the finals in Brazil.

International friendlies - Germany held by Poland in Hamburg friendly

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Joachim Löw

With an average age of 21.5 years and eight players in the starting lineup making their international debuts, it was clear that conclusions about Germany's readiness for the tournament would be hard to make.

A record total of 12 players made their Germany debut in the game, as 20 of the 30 players named in the provisional squad - including those from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and those playing in England and Spain - were missing.

Coach Joachim Loew used the game to give younger players a chance to prove themselves with regard to future Germany teams. He made 20-year-old Schalke 04 midfielder Julian Draxler, who is expected to make the cut for Brazil, the youngest ever Germany captain.

A glancing Antonio Ruediger header cleared on the line was all Germany had to show against a defensive Poland in the first half, as the hosts had the edge but understandably lacked rhythm.

The Poles, missing Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski, were kept on the back foot in the second half but the Germans lacked good finishing, with striker Kevin Volland, named in the provisional squad, failing to impress.

Augsburg's Andre Hahn saw his effort flicked over the bar late in the game at a half-empty Hamburg arena.

Germany, whose most recent title was Euro 96, will also play Cameroon and Armenia in June before leaving for Brazil.

The Germans, who take on Ghana, United States and Portugal in Group G of the World Cup starting next month, will announce a 25- or 26-man group later this week that will travel to a training camp in Italy before naming a final 23-man squad by June 2.

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