Lacklustre Germany beat Saudi Arabia

Why Ilkay Gundogan was booed by home fans in Germany’s final World Cup warm-up game

In another round of pre-World Cup worldwide friendlies, Germany held on to beat Saudi Arabia despite a late scare, while Iran, Uruguay, Switzerland and Croatia all claimed confidence boosting crucial wins.

Defending World Cup champions Germany defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 on Friday for a timely but unimpressive win one week before its title defense begins in Russian Federation.

Germany's forward Marco Reus (C) attempts to score during the worldwide friendly football match between Germany and Saudi Arabia at the BayArena stadium in Leverkusen, western Germany, on June 8, 2018.

In the last five matches, Germany has drawn three games and lost two games whereas Saudi Arabia has won two games and lost three games.

Saudi Arabia's Taisir Al-Jassim, front left, duels for the ball with Germany's Mats Hummels during a friendly soccer match between Germany and Saudi Arabia at BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday, June 8, 2018.

Ilkay Gundogan was booed by German fans in his team's final World Cup warm-up game, as supporters expressed anger over a controversial meeting the player attended in May with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Continuing its quest, the Saudi team cut half the way to the equalizer in the second half when it earned a penalty kick to score the goal.

"He's a member of the national team and that (booing) does not help anyone", said an irritated Low.

Manchester City's Gundogan and Arsenal's Ozil - both born in the German city of Gelsenkirchen but of Turkish descent - posed for photos during Erdogan's visit to London.

Karim Ansarifard scored from the edge of the box in the 88th minute to spare Iran's blushes in a 1-0 win over Lithuania.

However, head coach Loew was unhappy with the boos and jeers from German fans when Gundogan came on for the final 30 minutes in Leverkusen.

"The topic has to be ticked off".

"You can ask the questions, but you just have to accept when someone says, "I'm not talking about that anymore".

Ozil did not get off the bench as Germany rounded off their World Cup 2018 preparations with a slender win.

"Some parts of game we dominated the play, other times they were much better", said Pizzi, who at half-time urged his team to just enjoy the experience and play without fear. "Overall we squandered too many chances and allowed far too many chances".

At a post-match news conference, he added: "We will continue to improve and when the tournament starts, we will be there".

"We have given away a lot of chances". "We'll be quicker and more dynamic with more power next week".

Pleasingly from a German perspective, captain Manuel Neuer kept a clean sheet in his 45-minute spell in goal.

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