"We can see the improvement from our players in terms of their game mentality," Tianjin coach Liu Hao commented.
Germany is second in the top-tier Group A4 with five points. Next for Joachim Loew's side is Switzerland on Tuesday, while Ukraine, third place in the same group, hosts Spain on the same day. Enditem
Slovan Bratislava, one of the top title-contenders, was also close to losing its third in succession but managed to edge out Miskolc in OT to earn the first points of the season.
"I also had a lot of days in my recovery when I wondered how I was going to play football again, but there were also good days that I'll never forget, such as starting to walk and it not hurting and then being able to run and in my first game back I scored after just 25 seconds."
He also revealed a plan to invite psychiatrists to help his team cope with the challenges.
Like Matthaeus, the former midfielder is questioning Loew's tactical approach, counting on three central defenders supported by two defensive full backs.
The home team's American goalie Tomas Sholl had his hands full, making a solid 39 saves during Nitra's offensive pressure (the first goal was scored just 36 seconds into the game), letting only three pucks slide past his back.
"Coutinho playing inside [left] was a modification," Tite said. "Firmino today was not the Firmino that plays for Liverpool. He was playing on the last line without trying to be involved all the time. That put him in a position to take his opportunities when they came. He scored two goals and could have had two more. It shows that we have players that can adapt depending on the situation." Enditem
The historic moment arrived in the second quarter when Ji made one of two free throws with 8:36 left, thus surpassing WCBA legend Miao Lijie's 7,299 career points.
After the loss, Tianjin, Hebei and Wuhan remained the last three teams on the table; they have not won a game since the season started.
Garcia has so far failed to sign a new contract with Manchester City and with his current deal due to expire next June, the club must now decide whether to try and cash in on him in January or to see him move for free at the end of the season.