World: Friendlies
2 - 1
(1 - 0)
T. Müller (4), L. Sané (87)
A. Griezmann (89)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Müller and Sané on target as Germany defeat France

Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion was the venue for the friendly international clash of heavyweights Germany and France tonight. Rudi Völler filled the void left in the dugout after the dismissal of Hansi Flick – the first sacking of any German national team coach since the role was formed in 1926. The visitors arrived in fine form maintaining their one-hundred percent record in Group B after their 2-0 defeat of Republic of Ireland last Thursday. However, Rudi Völler would enjoy his first taste of victory as Germany hung on to win 2-1.
With goalscoring, or lack of it, being a problem for this German team lately, it was the opposite tonight. Völler’s side appeared to pass with a zip and finesse that one would’ve associated with Die Mannschaft of old. A nicely worked give-and-go between Gnabry and Henrichs afforded Müller space to fire Germany into a 1-0 lead inside four minutes. While the game’s opening quarter settled down, there was a brief scare when ex-Frankfurt striker Kolo Muani appealed for a penalty after a Rudiger challenge.

Injury to skipper Ilkay Gündoğan before the half hour mark presented some disappointment. Pascal Groß, formerly of FC Ingolstadt, entered the fray in his place. France went close through Tchouameni as the interval approached. Twice the French midfielder rose highest to latch onto both Griezmann and Coman deliveries. Ter Stegen relieved to see one effort sail over the crossbar whilst the other nestled in his grasp.

France enjoyed more of the ball after the restart as they went in search of an equaliser. Tchouameni fired from range as he does so often but to little avail. It wasn’t long before Brandt and Havertz replaced the Bayern duo of Gnabry and Müller. France made alterations of their own with familiar former Bundesliga faces like Dembelé and Thuram making cameos.

Ter Stegen had endured a quiet night until Griezmann’s left-footed curling effort sparked the goalkeeper into life in the final ten minutes. Just as the game felt like it would slumber towards conclusion, Leroy Sané grabbed Germany’s second. Tah read Todibo’s pass, turned to find Havertz who slipped in the Bayern winger. A curled finish was enough to beat Maignan. There was a brief scare at the death when Sané felled Camavinga in the box. Griezmann tucked the resulting penalty away despite Ter Stegen’s goal line antics. Nonetheless, Germany remained defensively stout to see out a 2-1 victory.

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