European Football Championship 2024: Germany plays 1:1 against Switzerland

European Football Championship 2024: Germany plays 1:1 against Switzerland
European Football Championship 2024: Germany plays 1:1 against Switzerland

At the European Football Championship, the DFB team finished the preliminary round with a draw. The Germans found it difficult to find solutions against the combative Swiss. Nevertheless, it was enough to win the group.

Julian Nagelsmann congratulated his fellow coach Murat Yakin with great relief. The German national players hugged each other with a smile after the 1:1 (0:1) showdown against Switzerland and were celebrated by the fans, who only started to celebrate very late. Thanks to super-sub Niclas Füllkrug, Nagelsmann’s fun footballers have achieved their most important goal – but the DFB selection still has a lot of work to do before the European Championship round of 16.

Füllkrug scored the late equalizer in the second minute of injury time, which was celebrated by many, and thus secured the group victory demanded by the national coach in the last preliminary round match. Dan Ndoye (28th minute) had put the clever Swiss in the lead on Sunday in the European Championship stadium in Frankfurt and noticeably shocked the national players and their fans.

“First of all, we are happy that we managed it, that we showed that we can deal with being behind. That helps the team,” said Toni Kroos on ARD. “We were on the gas for 90 minutes and we were rewarded in the end.”

Round of 16 opponent for Germany still unclear

Instead of going into the first knockout round on Saturday in Dortmund’s football temple with a puff of confidence, the DFB team is still feeling a little doubtful. The first opponent in the first all-or-nothing game could be England, as it was three years ago. Another early tournament failure will then have to be avoided. Central defender Jonathan Tah will be missing, as he received his second yellow card of the tournament after a foul on Breel Embolo and is therefore suspended.

Who the opponent will be will not be known until Tuesday evening after the last games in Group C. They are looking for the second-placed team in the group; apart from England, the options are Denmark, Slovenia or Serbia. No matter who the opponent will be, Nagelsmann will have to carefully review the overly hectic performance against Switzerland – otherwise the summer fairytale 2.0 could be over before it has really begun. “I think we are prepared for the round of 16,” said Kroos.

No answers to Switzerland

However, Ilkay Gündogan and Kroos, as playmakers, had no answer to the deficit for a long time. Füllkrug (90.+2) secured the DFB stars the first European Championship bonus of 50,000 euros per player for winning the group with his goal.

Just as often as there was talk about Germany’s chances and risks against the well-prepared Swiss, there was talk before the match about the battered Frankfurt pitch, which has not been making the best impression for months. After just a few minutes, the first holes appeared; Maximilian Mittelstädt, for example, closed one up early on after the ball had bounced away from him. But the game was far from irregular conditions in summer temperatures.

Robert Andrich’s goal disallowed

The difficulties for the DFB selection arose more because of the opponent, who tried harder than Scotland (5:1) and Hungary (2:0) to keep up with the game. Led by Leverkusen champion Granit Xhaka, the Swiss repeatedly looked for a way forward. In Embolo and Ndoye, the German central defenders Antonio Rüdiger and Tah had direct opponents who were able to pose a threat with their speed.

The German game initially seemed a little more structured, with Kai Havertz having a header opportunity right at the start, which Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer thwarted without much effort (3′). However, the DFB selection was far too rarely able to create clear goal-scoring opportunities in the first half hour. A supposed goal by Robert Andrich with a long-range shot did not count because of a previous foul by Jamal Musiala on Michel Aebischer (17′).

Nagelsmann changes defence

Nagelsmann, who had fielded the same starting eleven for the third time, tried to make changes in defence to ensure more stability. Andrich often moved further back to the centre-backs. But then the opposing team conceded a goal.

After a mistake by Musiala, Remo Freuler crossed against Rüdiger, and in the middle Ndoye was a touch quicker to the ball than Tah. Rüdiger’s toe also prevented the goalscorer from scoring from an offside position. The goal counted, and the Swiss fans in the stadium cheered loudly. For the first time at the home European Championships, Germany was behind – Ndoye almost scored again, but his shot after winning a running duel with Rüdiger went just wide of Manuel Neuer’s goal (31′).

Scholz in the stadium, thousands on the fan miles

A large number of political celebrities were watching from the stands, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Tens of thousands of people had gathered in German cities for public viewing – but there wasn’t really much to see until half-time. The German game was too hectic, and too often the one well-considered pass was missing. And so a seemingly promising opportunity with Musiala and Havertz came to nothing (42′). A few minutes earlier, Tah had been shown a yellow card.

Before the half-time whistle, Nagelsmann was sitting on the bench with assistant coach Sandro Wagner, engrossed in analysis on the tablet. What now? A defeat and second place in the group did not fit into the German tournament plan, which had worked so well in the two previous games. “Switzerland is aggressive and aggressive,” stated MagentaTV expert Michael Ballack, while Thomas Hitzlsperger said on ARD that the Nagelsmann team now had to pass this test.

Swiss brave

The first to react appropriately after the restart was Musiala with a shot, which Sommer blocked (50′). Kroos also tried (55′). The German offensive efforts became more varied, but the flow of the game was still lacking. At first, the Swiss left the DFB selection little room – and even played bravely towards Neuer’s goal.

After an hour, Nagelsmann made his first substitutions – Nico Schlotterbeck came on for Tah, David Raum for Mittelstädt. A little later, Maximilian Beier came on for Andrich. Germany now played more determinedly, but the final phase of the game, for which Leroy Sané and Füllkrug also came on (76th), was getting closer and closer. Havertz missed the equalizer with a header from a corner (85th). On the other side, Neuer had to stretch quite a bit to save a shot from Xhaka (88th). And then Füllkrug was there after all.

Source: Stern

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