"We never give up, we keep going, and we were rewarded for that," Niklas Stark told UEFA.com after scoring the goal that gave Germany a last-gasp draw with Serbia.
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Germany's boundless energy and refusal to concede defeat were crucial in salvaging a point against Serbia according to Niklas Stark – the man whose added-time goal earned a 2-2 draw.
Marcus Sorg's side looked destined for defeat at the Perutz Stadion as the clock ticked past 90 minutes only for captain Stark to convert from Benjamin Trümner's cross. "We never give up," Stark told UEFA.com "We keep going and we were rewarded for it. It was a brutally tough match – Serbia put a lot of effort into it. They ran a lot, and so did we. We have to recuperate well, and prepare ourselves for the next match."
Sorg said basic mistakes had undermined Germany, and his captain agreed. "I think we showed a lack of concentration today," Stark explained. "We know we can do better. We know we have a good defence, so we have to eliminate the errors in the future."
Selected in midfield for Saturday's 3-0 defeat of Bulgaria, the 1. FC Nürnberg man dropped back into central defence against Serbia – although, with time running out, he was deployed as an emergency centre-forward. "We pushed Niklas Stark up front and he got the goal," Sorg told UEFA.com. "He played central midfield [in the first game], centre-back [today] and centre-forward but he can't play every position!
"It was due to the game that we had to move him around," added the coach, who tinkered with his tactics throughout and was pleased to see the move finally bring rewards. "We tried to find an answer by changing our system. If we keep changing our way of playing our opponents have to cope with that and that leads to mistakes. I'm very happy that when we changed things, it paid off."