World: Friendlies
FT
2 - 1
(0 - 1)
Germany
Greece
K. Havertz (56), P. Groß (89)
G. Masouras (33)
By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Unimpressive Germany come back from Neuer howler to beat Greece in final Euros test

Germany failed to impress in their final friendly before Euro 2024, recovering from a Manuel Neuer error to beat Greece 2-1.

 


With just a week to go before they open Euro 2024 against Scotland, Germany faced Greece in a warm-up friendly at the Borussia-Park in Mönchengladbach.

And it was a performance that should cause head coach Julian Nagelsmann some concern, as the hosts looked far from impressive, despite ultimately coming away with a 2-1 win.

Nagelsmann fielded a strong starting lineup, hoping for a good result and a confidence boost ahead of the big opener against Scotland next Friday.

However, the first half did not go to plan for the home side, who struggled to put Greece under any real pressure and looked vulnerable at the back, being caught on the counter on several occasions.

Just six minutes into the game, Manuel Neuer was forced into a sensational double save to deny the guests, but unfortunately for Germany, he didn't show the same composure in goal in the 33rd minute, when a big mistake of his led to Greece's opener.

After Germany lost possession in a dangerous position, Chris Tzolis fired a weak shot at goal that Neuer could only parry into the path of the onrushing Georgios Masouras, who put Greece ahead.

At the other end, Jonathan Tah missed Germany's best chance of the half seven minutes later with a header just wide. Kai Havertz had the ball in the net soon after, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Nagelsmann reacted at half-time by taking off Maximilian Mittelstädt and Florian Wirtz in favor of David Raum and Leroy Sané. 

And one of the new entrants, Sané, played a key role in Germany's equaliser, slipping the ball across the face of goal to Kai Havertz, who finished off a swift attack to level the scores in the 56th minute.

The goal gave Germany a boost, but they failed to build on it, dominating possession but failing to create clear-cut chances. At the other end, Greece threatened on the counter, but the German defense was able to keep them at bay.

Out of nowhere, Germany came close to taking the lead in the 83rd minute when Antonio Rüdiger tried his luck from distance, but his shot hit the crossbar.

It looked like Nagelsmann's troops would have to settle for a draw, but second-half substitute Pascal Gross stepped up in the 89th minute and fired home from just outside the box to give Julian Nagelsmann's side the win.

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