Sports

Kosovo forward Milot Rashica blossoming at Werder Bremen

BERLIN (AP) — Milot Rashica is blossoming at Werder Bremen, where the young Kosovo forwards standout performances are sure to prompt offers from rival clubs.

The 22-year-old scored a stunning goal to set Bremen on its way to the German Cup semifinals with a 2-0 win at Schalke on Wednesday. Rashica let fly from outside the penalty area to lift the ball over goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel before it dipped inside the far corner.

“What Milot did there — you can do that again!” Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt laughed after the game. “He has taken a giant step forward. Hes more confident in himself and can simply fire such things in.”

It was Rashicas fifth goal in his last four games in all competitions, starting with two he scored in Bremens 4-2 win over Schalke in the Bundesliga.

Rashica has been combining brilliantly with Bremen captain Max Kruse, whose own performances have led to calls for Germany coach Joachim Loew to recall him.

Bremen is unbeaten in 12 games in 2019 and on course for European qualification after climbing to sixth in the Bundesliga with wins over Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz.

Kohfeldt was named Germanys coach of the year for 2018 because of Bremens improvement since he took over from Alexander Nouri in November 2017. Bremen was 17th in the 18-team division at the time.

Rashica, who joined Bremen from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem for a reported 7.5 million euros ($8.5 million) in January 2018, has certainly profited from the Kohfeldts gentle leadership.

Kohfeldt has also overseen the development of midfielder Maximilian Eggestein (22), his brother Johannes (20), and American forward Josh Sargent (19), who made his first Bundesliga start in February.

Rashica has made 19 league appearances this season, but he has really taken off since early January, with seven of his eight league goals coming in 2019.

Kohfeldt hasnt been afraid to push the forward for more. He asked Rashica to work on his defensive responsibilities and he took the player off at halftime after a disappointing performance against Nuremberg.

Three days later, Kohfeldt gave Rashica another chance by starting him in the German Cup at Borussia Dortmund. Rashica scored in Bremens 4-2 win and followed up with two goals in the next game against Augsburg before being forced off with back problems.

By then, Rashica had established himself as a first choice for Kohfeldt.

“With the ball, he can do anything you need to win games,” Kohfeldt said. “Milot has a brilliant shot, whether from distance or in the penalty area. His right foot is a dangerous weapon. On top of that, you have his small stature that makes him hard to stop when hes running with the ball, and top speed on the pitch.

“Milot can make the differencRead More – Source

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