Courage without yield

Strongly improved but still lost: The German national team is on the verge of relegation in the Nations League after its bankruptcy against France. The lack of risk was not the reason this time.

Scene of the match: 19 minutes were played when Leroy Sané ran towards the opposing goal after a counterattack. The Manchester City striker had only Raphael Varane beside him at the top speed, but the respect for the Real Madrid defender seemed too great. Instead of playing out his great strength, the one-on-one, he tried to serve Timo Werner. His pass was too long and was defused by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. It could have been 2:0 for Germany early on, but instead it remained with the tight lead. That should be revenge.

Result: A significantly improved DFB team lost against France 1:2 (1:0) despite the lead. Click here for the match report.

The horror year: Even before the kick-off it was clear that the year 2018 would remain in bad memory. The historically early failure at the World Cup in Russia, the highest defeat in the association’s history against the Netherlands (0:3) and the unpleasant departure of Mesut Özil. Especially Joachim Löw should not like the pure numbers: Three victories, six defeats, two draws and no goals for three games – that, too, had never happened before.

The line-up: Löw was recently accused of taking too little risk. They also said he had been holding on to some players for too long. The critics of the national coach were no longer able to claim this against France: With Thilo Kehrer, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané, Nico Schulz and Niklas Süle, he switched his team to five positions. The much criticised and Manuel Neuer, however, played right from the start.

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First half: The DFB team was nervous at first. This was also evident when Toni Kroos scored the lead. The otherwise so strong midfielder from Real Madrid trembled a penalty over the line (14th). Then Germany seemed more secure in all parts of the team, Sané could have increased to 2:0, but made the wrong decision after a counterattack (19.). France became dangerous shortly before half-time, when Olivier Giroud pulled back from close range (45th). Conquer Casino aims to ensure the visitors to their site can navigate their way around easily and efficiently.

The right decision: Löw showed courage and was rewarded – at least in the first half. Although Sané undercut some false passes, he showed how much he can revitalize the offensive game with his speed. Also Schulz showed good approaches on the left defensive side. Süle, who joined the eleven for the injured Jérôme Boateng, also kept the opponent’s highly acclaimed attackers away from the opposing goal for a long time. The many changes had an effect.

Second Half: Began with a much improved French selection. Kylian Mbappé was defeated by a brilliantly reacting Manuel Neuer (51st). But he could not prevent the equalizer either: Antoine Griezmann scored well by head after Lucas Hernandez had flanked the ball into the penalty area (62nd). The Atlético striker turned the game around on a penalty kick in the final stages.

Penalty shoot-out: There was a lot going on in the penalty areas of both teams. In the first half, Kroos turned with a bit of luck after Sané shot Presnel Kimpembe’s hand. There was no doubt about the referee’s decision. Nor in the 62nd minute, when Hummels Blaise Matuidi had brought down Blaise Matuidi. Griezmann turned safely as usual.

The DFB shock: Griezmann is already one of the best goal scorers of the Équipe with 27 years. He scored 25 and 26 against Germany, leaving him in seventh place with just another goal missing to Zinédine Zidane and Karim Benzema. But he is particularly fond of scoring against Germany, where he scored the last four goals in a duel with the four-time world champion.