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Cameroon holds Germany to draw in World Cup warm-up

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The Canadian Press
6/1/2014 5:39:54 PM
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MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany -- Germany had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Cameroon on Sunday in its last match before coach Joachim Loew names his final squad for the World Cup in Brazil.

Samuel Eto'o put Cameroon ahead in the 62nd, before Thomas Mueller and Andre Schuerrle gave Germany the lead. But Maxim Choupo-Moting clinched the draw in the 78th.

Germany played without goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defender and captain Philipp Lahm and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who are nursing injuries, while striker Miroslav Klose sat out the match. Klose has been bothered by various injuries throughout the season. Left back Erik Durm made his debut, with another defender, Marcel Schmelzer, also injured.

Germany has drawn its last two matches, with an under-strength side held 0-0 by Poland last month. The Germans also play Armenia on June 6, the day before they leave for Brazil.

Loew picked Cameroon as an opponent because it also faces an African team in its group at the World Cup, Ghana. The other rivals are Portugal and the United States. Cameroon faces host Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.

"It was a good opponent, they play hard," Loew said. "We lost possession often and they can counter."

Cameroon weathered early German pressure before Eto'o struck. His first shot was saved by Roman Weidenfeller, but Choupo-Moting, who plays for Mainz in Germany, squared the ball back and Eto'o knocked it in.

Mueller and Schuerrle turned the game with goals in quick succession.

Mueller headed in the equalizer in the 66th after good work by Jerome Boateng on the right. Schuerrle scored from Lukas Podolski's low cross in the 71st. Podolski was offside but the flag stayed down.

Germany scored only after Schuerrle came in for Mario Goetze and Podolski for the ineffective Oezil.

Oezil wasted Germany's best chance after only 40 seconds by shooting wide. The Arsenal midfielder was hardly involved after that. Schuerrle and Podolski gave Germany more space and Mueller scored as soon as he moved into the striker position.

Germany had other good chances, especially in the second half, but could not score.

"It would have been good if we had used our early chances. We seem to need a lot of chances to score, that has been evident in recent months," Loew said.

Germany paid for its inefficiency when Choupo-Moting broke through on the left and beat Weidenfeller with a low shot inside the far post.

Mueller said Germany still had some work to do ahead before the World Cup.

"It's hard to draw conclusions from this match. We should have been ahead after 10 minutes, we did not use our chances. It's good that the World Cup is still a little bit away," said Mueller, who scored five goals in South Africa at the 2010 World Cup.

Alexandre Song and Marco Reus  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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