Germany 2-1 Scotland: Win was in sight - Gordon Strachan

We played without fear - Strachan

Gordon Strachan believed his Scotland side were going to beat the world champions before Germany claimed a 2-1 win in Dortmund.

Thomas Muller's first-half header was cancelled out by Ikechi Anya's strike in the Euro 2016 qualifying opener.

But Muller netted his second from a poorly defended corner to secure victory for Joachim Low's side.

"At 1-1, I genuinely believed we were going to win the game," said Strachan. "I saw players playing with no fear."

Muller's opener also owed a debt to slackness in the Scottish rearguard and Strachan admitted his players had taken time to settle at Signal Iduna Park.

"The first 20 minutes, it wasn't fear," he explained, "They tried to rush passes. We lost the ball quite a lot and it gave Germany easy possession.

"The Germans are always going to have more of the ball and probably more chances, that goes without saying.

"If you could find me somebody who's 6' 4", who can head the ball for miles and jump at eight feet, which Muller can, then it's avoidable.

Scotland players celebrating
Anya scored from a superb Fletcher pass

"I think that most countries in the world do not have somebody to do that. When you're dealing with an exceptional machine like Muller, then you'll have a problem. That's always going to be the difference.

"The second half we played with no fear. They really should be proud of what they did.

"The longer the game went on, the more of a threat we had. All we need to do is work on the first 20 minutes, get that sorted out then we'll be fine, we'll be good."

Strachan was animated as he came onto the pitch after full-time and the Scotland players were frustrated that they had not been given the opportunity to take a corner before Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen blew his whistle.

"I was on to make sure my coaching staff didn't overstep the mark and to congratulate the lads," Strachan said. "I wasn't incensed.

"We try our best not to speak about referees but I'd love to see the referee's assessment of the performance and that's all we've got to say about that. Unfortunately, we don't get to see them."

David Marshall was selected ahead of Allan McGregor in goal and the Cardiff City stopper made some fine first-half saves during Germany's most forceful period.

Scotland's second-half revival was in-part due to Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher's introduction from the bench.

"If you saw the substitutes that came on and how well they played, I had big decisions all over the place," added the coach.

"I actually could've picked another team and it would've given us the same performance. That's how good our squad is getting."

And Strachan, who had Charlie Mulgrew sent off for two bookings late on, paid tribute to the travelling fans, saying they helped to create a "fantastic occasion".

"That's one of the reasons why we have to get to a major finals," he added.