Germany are the kings of the penalty shoot-out — but the world champions hope to see off Mexico in Thursday’s Confederations Cup semi-final without needing dreaded spot kicks.
The Germans have won all five penalty shoot-outs they have faced since 1976 at either World Cup finals or European championships.
Joachim Loew’s team face the Mexicans in Sochi for a place in Sunday’s Confed Cup final in St Petersburg against either Portugal or Chile, who meet later on Wednesday in Kazan’s other semi-final.
Having won their Confed Cup group, Germany are on a 13-match unbeaten run, dating back just under a year to their Euro 2016 semi-final defeat to hosts France.
Left-back Jonas Hector said Germany’s young guns have not yet practised spot-kicks and hope to beat Mexico over the 90 minutes.
“We would like to avoid this situation (penalties),” admitted Hector.
“We haven’t specifically trained for it and we’ll take it as it comes.”
Nevertheless, the Germans seem to have penalty-taking in their blood.
Their Under-21 team beat England 4-3 on penalties on Tuesday to book their place in Friday’s final at the European Under-21 championships in Poland.
Loew said he does not have a list of his top five penalty takers.
“Sometimes the players practise after training, but you can’t train for what will happen on the night,” the German coach said.
“If it happens, I will look at the faces of my players after the final whistle, take into account who is ready and who has missed them in the past, then make a decision,” added Loew.
The Germans expect a battle royal against Mexico’s come-back kings.
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