Goretzka fires Germany into last 16
Leon Goretzka has sent Germany through to the last 16 at Euro 2020. Die Mannschaft salvaged a 2-2 draw against Hungary in their last group match at the Allianz Arena thanks to an equaliser in the 84th minute from the Bayern player. The Germans concluded Group F in second place on four points, behind France (5) and ahead of Portugal (4) and Hungary (2). They will play England (winners of Group D) in the round of 16 on 29 June (18.00 CEST) in London.
"I’m overjoyed. I told myself I had to get there at full speed. Then it was fortunate that the ball fell at my feet. We have no doubts and we’re full of confidence," a delighted Goretzka said after the game. The 26-year-old scored the decisive equaliser after a fine assist from Jamal Musiala, who also came on as a substitute. The FCB youngster thus became the youngest tournament player in Germany national team history. Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané were the Bayern quartet in the starting XI. In addition, Thomas Müller, who was doubtful for the match due to a knee injury, was subbed on in the 68th minute. Niklas Süle was in the squad but was not used.
Neuer with no chance
Germany began the crunch encounter well. Kimmich had the first chance shortly after kick-off, but failed to beat Hungary goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi from an acute angle. A little later, the home team were shocked when Adam Szalai left Neuer with no chance with a close-range header to open the scoring. Now Kimmich & Co. rose to the challenge and created chances, but were unable to capitalise on them.
The Germans struggled in the second half, but managed to equalise in the 66th minute through Kai Havertz. However, András Schäfer scored with the very next move to restone Hungary's lead. The 2014 World Cup winners then threw everything forward in attack. With six minutes remaining, Musiala weaved his way into the penalty area from the left with a mazy dribble and passed into the centre, where the ball finally landed at Goretzka’s feet. He finished cleanly from 13 yards to level the scores and spark great celebrations in the Allianz Arena. "We’re relieved about qualifying as runners-up. It was a thriller. When you're 1-0 down, it's brutally difficult against a team like that. But we’re confident and want to win against England as well. Wembley suits us," Neuer declared afterwards.