Greece: Groß secures DFB victory after Neuer mistake

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Written By Maya Cantina

So it will be difficult with a new football summer fairytale. Although substitute Pascal Groß scored shortly before the end to secure a 2-1 (0-1) victory in the final European Championship test against Greece, the German national team held a dress rehearsal a week before the opening match against Scotland, which was more yielded. doubts then builds confidence for the home tournament. After two days off, national coach Julian Nagelsmann will have to do a lot for his 26-man squad, so that the fans can cheer in Munich next Friday.

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With his goal in the 56th minute, Kai Havertz provided the first correction after a slow and erroneous performance by the German team in the first half. Substitute Benjamin Henrichs had missed the 2-1 with Groß’s shot in front of the crossbar (83′). In any case, the willpower of the German team was positive. The Greeks showed a lot of heart at Borussia Park and deservedly led through Giorgos Masouras (34th). The attacker took advantage of a major goalkeeping error by Manuel Neuer, who again turned out not to be a reliable number one. Even Champions League winners Toni Kroos and Antonio Rüdiger failed to transfer Real Madrid’s mentality to the national team.

Nagelsmann at the dress rehearsal of the European Championships with the regular eleven

The sobering performance in the first half should give Nagelsmann food for thought. Because in front of 45,488 spectators in the sold-out Borussia Park, the national coach had exactly the same permanent line-up as he would play at the European Championship. And what, according to his own statements, he decided a few weeks ago. But as long as Nagelsmann’s dream team was on the field, they lacked everything needed for a successful home tournament for 45 minutes: speed, intensity, ball security and, above all, any form of European Championship excitement. The Greeks failed in the European Championship play-offs against blatant outsider Georgia in March. But on Friday evening it sometimes looked like they would be starting an important tournament – and not the host of the European Championship.

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The goal conceded in the 33rd minute was emblematic of the German team’s long, slow performance, which was extremely error-prone, especially in the build-up to the match: Jamal Musiala lost the ball after an inaccurate pass from Jonathan Tah. And at the end of the series of mistakes, goalkeeper Neuer also made another mistake this year. The 38-year-old let an innocent shot from Christos Tzolis bounce right at the feet of Masouras. And the striker, also linked to Hertha BSC, only pushed the ball in from a few meters.

This serious misfire from Neuer even surpassed a world-class move that had prevented the Greeks from taking an even earlier lead in the sixth minute. The Bayern keeper saved twice from close range against Tzolis, who stormed for Fortuna Düsseldorf. This time too, the starting point was a very risky and completely unsuccessful cross pass from Musiala in midfield. Such errors in large numbers, that was the pattern in the German match for one half.

During half time: whistle for the DFB team

Some spectators even whistled for half-time – and the national coach responded to the weak performance with the substitutions of Leroy Sané and David Raum. These measures had a double effect. Because on the one hand, the entire team at least showed a reaction. And on the other hand, Bayern striker Sané in particular breathed new life into the previously ineffective offensive. The 28-year-old prepared the equalizer with striker Havertz’s 16th international goal on the right side of the attack.

Sané is at least indirectly responsible for the fact that fourth goalkeeper Alexander Nübel and no other field player were left out of the German European Championship selection for the match. “We have a few uncertainties with Leroy, so we don’t know exactly how much stress he can tolerate during the tournament,” said Nagelsmann. RTL. “We have to respond to that a little bit.”

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Against the Greeks, however, Sané first confirmed his role as one of the few players who can really compete with the regular players at the European Championship. Just like on Friday evening, the Bayern star is an alternative to Florian Wirtz. Or as a potential number ten for captain Ilkay Gündogan, who is temporarily invisible this time and is once again unfamiliar with this role.

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