National team: Germany shows tough qualities and defeats Holland

Football test international match

Germany shows taking qualities and defeats Holland

As of: 10:45 p.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes

Substitute Niclas Füllkrug redeems the German national team with his late goal

What: REUTERS

After the great encouragement against France at the European Championship, the German national team had to step up. For the DFB selection, the duel against Holland became a tough test, which wasn’t quite as brilliant as last time. Nevertheless, in the end it is enough. The will to win is back.

After a late joker goal from Niclas Füllkrug and the encore victory against arch-rivals Holland, Germany can hope for a new summer football fairytale. 80 days before the opening game at the home European Championship, the DFB team, newly formed by national coach Julian Nagelsmann, won the second big test against Oranje 2-1 (1-1) after the 2-0 win in France. The German team demonstrated its long-missing tournament readiness with its joy of playing, commitment and deserved winning goal from Füllkrug (85th). Something is developing under the ambitious Nagelsmann.

In the sold-out Frankfurt European Championship stadium, the German team, again led by returnee Toni Kroos, was playfully superior at the premiere in the pink jersey. And it also showed a strong reaction after Joey Veerman’s early deficit (4th minute): Stuttgart’s Maximilian Mittelstädt equalized with a wonderful long-range shot under the crossbar (11th). In just one week, Nagelsmann found a formation that, after years of sadness at the European Championships, can be trusted with a lot – perhaps even everything. Before the tournament emergency on June 14th in Munich against Scotland, Nagelsmann can still work on the fine-tuning in the training camp and the tests against Ukraine and Greece.

Before kick-off, a minute’s silence was held in honor of the deceased world champions Franz Beckenbauer and Andreas Brehme. Rudi Völler was particularly touched by this. Shortly beforehand, the DFB sports director had promised the fans over the stadium microphone: “We want to take the momentum with us and build on it.” Nagelsmann sent the same starting eleven onto the field as in the convincing start to the European Championship year. But initially the game went differently than against France.

Quick response after Holland’s opening goal

This time the German team didn’t take the lead early on, but quickly fell behind. After a weak back pass from Mittelstädt, central defender Jonathan Tah acted hesitantly against Memphis Depay. The Oranje attacker was able to cross relatively unhindered to the inside, where Veerman, unmarked, volleyed in a remarkable finish.

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The DFB selection was not shocked by this – on the contrary. The quick answer came from Mittelstädt, of all people, who corrected his mistake before the 0-1 with a powerful left-footed shot under the crossbar after a short corner from Kroos and an assist from Jamal Musiala. As was the case against France with Florian Wirtz’s eight-second record goal immediately after kick-off, the DFB team scored after a well-rehearsed move.

The fans celebrated the first goal in the second international match by Stuttgart left-back Mittelstädt “completely detached”: In the neighboring duel, the DFB fulfilled the wish of many supporters to play “Major Tom” by Peter Schilling when scoring their own goals. By the time an online petition was completed, almost 70,000 votes had been received.

Gündogan played better in his 75th international match than last time in France

After the 1-1 draw, Germany largely controlled the game. In the defensive midfield, returnee Kroos once again set the pace with ball confidence, a kind of quarterback who was always able to free himself from Tijjani Reijnders’ man-marking. In front of Kroos, the two offensive youngsters Musiala and Florian Wirtz showed their class. They rotated a lot and were difficult for the Dutch defense to grasp. After a fine pass from Musiala, Ilkay Gündogan made it 2-1 in the 18th minute. But the captain’s finish was no problem for visiting goalkeeper Verbruggen.

Overall, Gündogan played better in his 75th international match than he did last in France. The FC Barcelona professional also prevented the second Oranje goal in the 33rd minute when he saved a corner from Dortmund’s Donyell Malen after a header from Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt was ready to take a shot. The Dutch increasingly tried to take the pace out of the game in order to break the rhythm of the German game.

After the break, the guests came out of the locker room a little better, and the Germans were sometimes vulnerable in defense, as was the case with Depay’s great chance (61′). After around an hour, Nagelsmann made two changes: Chris Führich and Pascal Groß came on for Gündogan and Robert Andrich. But the first German exclamation mark of the second half was again set by Mittelstädt, who tested Verbruggen with a powerful long-range shot (65th).

Overall, the game got worse on slippery grass. Nagelsmann reacted and brought in two fresh offensive players in Thomas Müller and Niclas Füllkrug; the draw didn’t seem to be enough for him. The players on the pitch seemed to have understood the message and increased the pressure again. Musiala (76th) and Müller (83rd) initially had two good chances failed by Oranje keeper Verbruggen, then Füllkrug struck: After a corner from Kroos, the Dortmund player maneuvered the ball into the goal with his shoulder.

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