Goretzka scores in DFB win
Led by a strong Bavarian contingent, the German national team celebrated their first victory in the Nations League. On Saturday evening, the DFB team beat hosts Ukraine 2-1 (1-0). Leon Goretzka (49') scored shortly after the interval to double the lead, after Matthias Ginter had put the 2014 world champs ahead around halfway through the first half (20'). Ruslan Malinovski's (76') goal for the Ukrainians from the penalty spot didn't change the outcome of the game, much to the delight of the Germans.
Bayern axis at the heart of the German national team
In Kiev, national team head coach Joachim Löw relied on a Bavarian spine at the heart of the team, using all five Bayern players at his disposal from kick-off. Ahead of captain Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süle started in central defence, with Joshua Kimmich in central midfield. Goretzka played in a more advanced role ahead of Kimmich, with Serge Gnabry (on the pitch until the 93rd minute) the sole striker. "We managed to get the game over the line today, we could have finished it off earlier. We had the game under control the whole time and in the end we have all three points," the FCB striker surmised after the victory.
Goretzka with a good performance
The Germans had a hard time in the first half, but took a deserved lead in the 20th minute. Ginter finished off in the penalty area after tidy assist from Antonio Rüdiger. In the second half, the DFB team, driven by the impressive Kimmich and Goretzka, grew more and more dominant before deservedly extending their lead. Goretzka (49') took full advantage of a mistake by the Ukrainian goalkeeper to make it 2-0. In the 76th minute, Malinovski converted a penalty after Süle fouled in the box to halve the deficit, leaving Neuer furious. Germany, however, were not to be denied victory - Gnabry (82') even had a chance to make it 3-1 in his grasp, but failed to convert past goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan.
Germany in second place
After two draws against Spain and Switzerland, Neuer & co. were able to celebrate their first victory in the Nations League, and now sit second behind Spain (7pts) in their group, after three games, with the Germans now on five points. Next Tuesday (8:45pm CET), Germany will welcome Switzerland in Cologne for their last game in this month's international break.
Zirzkee celebrates U21 debut with big win
On Thursday evening, Joshua Zirkzee was in action for Netherlands' U21 side, celebrating his debut at that age bracket.The 19-year-old FC Bayern academy prospect was substituted in the 59th minute during the Jong-Oranje's 5-0 victory over Gibraltar in U21 European Championship qualifiers.
Corentin Tolisso also scored for his national side this international break: