- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) - Mario Goetze scored but Germany failed to impress in a 1-0 win over a Chile side that deserved more from the friendly international on Wednesday.

Goetze struck against the run of play in the 16th minute after Mesut Ozil eluded three defenders on the edge of the area. Goetze took the Arsenal midfielder’s pass with his right foot and then scooped it over Chile goalkeeper Johnny Herrera with his left.

Eduardo Vargas came closest for Chile when he struck the crossbar in the second half. Arturo Vidal should have equalized in the first as the dominant visitors failed to capitalize on a stuttering performance from the home side.

“You can say it was a lucky win,” Germany captain Philipp Lahm said.

It was far from convincing ahead of the World Cup in 98 days, and Germany coach Joachim Loew was unable to hide his frustration, even before his side drew whistles from fans at the end.

“My (World Cup) plan isn’t dependent on this game,” Loew told German broadcaster ARD.

Loew has had to tear up his first-choice lineup due to injuries and poor form. He shifted Lahm to defensive midfield, with Kevin Grosskreutz filling in at right-back.

Miroslav Klose shook off injury concerns to start, but the 35-year-old player was barely involved and unable to add to the 68-goal national team record he shares with Gerd Mueller.

Chile attacked from the start, with Jerome Boateng making a crucial interception to Alexis Sanchez’ cross, and Lahm then blocking Vidal’s header on the line from the resulting corner.

Bastian Schweinsteiger made Germany’s first foray forward in the 13th, when Herrera cut out his cross for Klose, and the Bayern Munich midfielder was involved again when Goetze scored three minutes later.

Vidal wasted the chance to equalize when he shot weakly at Manuel Neuer with only the goalkeeper to beat. A mistake from Schweinsteiger presented the opportunity.

Loew made his displeasure known on the sideline with his defense in disarray.

Goetze came close to making it 2-0 after cutting inside a defender but shot just wide of the far post.

Again, however, it was the visitors who had the better chances. Charles Aranguiz struck the side netting and Gary Medel’s header was blocked before the break. Vargas struck the crossbar in the 61st as Chile was left to rue missed chances.

“It was a taste of what we can expect at the World Cup, only the temperatures will be higher,” Germany defender Per Mertesacker said. “I think we saw today that we have a bit of work to do.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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