SOCHI, Russia -- Joachim Low said his young Germany team can win the Confederations Cup against Chile and prove their readiness to return to Russia in next year's World Cup.
World champions Germany face the back-to-back Copa America winners in St. Petersburg on Sunday after cruising to a 4-1 semifinal victory against Mexico in Sochi, with Leon Goretzka (two), Timo Werner and Amin Younes scoring the goals for Low's team.
Having decided to leave his experienced players at home this summer in order to rest them ahead of Russia 2018, Low admits he has been surprised by the performances of his emerging stars.
But he now believes they can return to Germany as Confederations Cup winners after being impressed by their efforts in Russia this month.
"We have developed," Low said. "All of the matches have given us different problems, but this is a top-notch international event and it gives the players a lot of experience, it will help them.
"It has been a testing ground and over the three weeks, we have developed a lot as a team.
"But this is not something we could pre-empt. Some have had no experience, no caps, so you couldn't calculate it.
"We knew what we wanted, how we could train and a structure they could relate to, but they are fighting for one another and collectively they have won and become a genuine team.
"They are very ambitious and yearning to be part of the team.
"In the dressing-room, they are really happy, but they know there is a game to go and I am quite confident they can pull it off."
Low said before the tournament that he hoped that "2 or 3" of his young players could challenge for the World Cup squad next year.
But he admits he now believes even more can break into his senior squad in time for Germany's defence of the crown they won in Brazil in 2014.
"Yes, I hope so," Low said. "Am I surprised? I have seen how they work in training and they are doing it well.
"I am really happy that we are in the final because nobody would have expected that and I really want to compliment my young players. To win 4-1 and get to the final is not something we could expect from the start, so it is a grand achievement.
"We will analyse how the players got through the game, but Chile is the most powerful opponent in the tournament.
"We know them well and they will go for it full power. It is nearly the end of the season, but I expect them to be pushing themselves right to the wall."
Goal scorer Goretzka backed Germany to come through in the final against Chile, who drew 1-1 with the four-time world champions in their group stage encounter earlier in the competition.
"Personally I'm really happy to play against Chile again," Goretzka said after being named man of the match.
"Why? Because in the earlier match against Chile we had a bit of a feeling that the draw was not enough for us.
"And now we can prove again that we can play against a really top-flight team. That's why we're here at the tournament to contest against these top teams."
"We wanted to start better than in other games and it is great that it worked with two early goals."