Die Mannschaft were within six minutes of a shock UEFA EURO 2020 exit until Leon Goretzka’s goal denied fearless Hungary.
Germany’s UEFA EURO 2020 future hung in the balance until six minutes from time when a goal from Leon Goretzka saved Joachim Löw’s side, and ended Hungary’s bold attempt to come through Group F.
Match in brief
Dynamic and fluid in their 4-2 win against Portugal, Germany’s ardour was dampened by heavy rain in Munich, and they trailed after 11 minutes. Hungary were lightning-quick on the counter, and Ádám Szalai headed them in front, flinging himself at Roland Sallai’s superb ball from the right.
The hosts responded sharply; Mats Hummels headed against the crossbar from a Joshua Kimmich corner, and Matthias Ginter then fired straight at Péter Gulácsi from close range. However, Hungary looked to have weathered the storm, Sallai hammering a free-kick against the outside of Manuel Neuer’s post just after the hour .
Relief finally came for Germany after Gulácsi failed to pick out a Kimmich free-kick, Hummels nodding the ball on for Kai Havertz to head in from close range. However, they were behind again within 16 seconds of the restart, András Schäfer chasing Szalai’s ball through to glance past Neuer.
Things looked very grim indeed for Germany, but salvation came as Jamal Musiala pulled the ball back for Goretzka to tee up Timo Werner. His shot was blocked but dropped kindly for Goretzka to beat Gulácsi.
Star of the Match: Joshua Kimmich (Germany)
“He was always trying to create something, and delivered a lot of good passes to create chances in the second half when he moved into the middle of the field. He never gave up and kept believing.”
Dušan Fitzel, UEFA Technical Observer
Phil Röber, Germany reporter
Germany breathe a sigh of relief: this was a far closer call than they wanted. The goals they conceded will be a major topic of discussion going forward because counterattacks remain a weak spot, and they still have lots of work to do when it comes to breaking down a deep-lying opponent. They got lucky this time, but where was the spark they showed against Portugal?
Andy Clark, Hungary reporter
That Hungary came within six minutes of qualifying from this group tells its own story. They have been absolutely immense in each of their matches in Group F. They will be bitterly disappointed to have come so close to going through, but can draw immense pride at how they have acquitted themselves at EURO 2020 in a group that most would have baulked at the prospect of. Szép volt fiúk! (Translation: nice work, boys).
Roland Sallai, Hungary forward: “I’m very proud that we performed the way we did, but I’m disappointed at falling short. We’ve played ever so well. We can’t complain; we’re proud of how we’ve played. I think we’re on a really good path. We’ve made it very difficult for three exceedingly tough opponents.”
Péter Gulácsi, Hungary goalkeeper: “We were under pressure, but we restricted Germany to very few chances. We reacted superbly after their first equaliser. We were so close. From the very start, we’ve focused on ourselves rather than our opponents. We’ve played three tight matches, and I’m disappointed that we haven’t gone through.”
Joshua Kimmich, Germany wing-back: “Hungary were so compact and did very well. We were not great at finding a solution to the problem, but we showed great morale. In the end it is only important to go through. That will also be the case for the next match and I think we have a good chance to accomplish this.”
Joachim Löw, Germany coach: “All the ‘small’ teams invest so much work and defend well. Hungary played with ten men in their own half and they had nothing to lose. It’s great that we got through in this tough group. Now we can look forward to a match against England.”