Low happy despite dour draw
Germany coach Joachim Low was satisfied with the way his players bounced back from the horror show against Sweden to end 2012 on a positive note in Holland on Wednesday night.
After conceding four times in 30 minutes to squander a 4-0 lead against the Swedes last month, defensive solidity was Low's primary focus in Amsterdam and, while a dour goalless draw disappointed supporters, it was mission accomplished for the visitors.
Germany lined up without a recognised striker in a 4-6-0 formation and got the clean sheet they craved.
"We had this opportunity to play a strong team and it was a very meaningful game, and it was positive," Low said.
"We showed good discipline and good defensive work, which after our recent games, especially Sweden, was most important."
Low's caution was matched by Holland boss Louis van Gaal and it was Germany who created the better chances against a side equally reticent to commit men forward.
"I was a bit surprised by the way they played - maybe they were a bit scared of us countering them so they sat deep and you don't usually expect that from Holland," added Low on ARD television.
"We had two or three chances to score and win the game."
Overall, Low will look back on 2012 as a successful year with Germany reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2012 and beginning their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign on the right foot.
"We had a good Euros, then there was the negative against Italy and the very negative experience against Sweden, but we are top of our (World Cup qualifying) group and everything is in our own hands," he said.
"I have picked up some good pointers in view of 2014."