Hungary beat Germany to near Nations League finals

Germany have suffered their first defeat under the management of Hansi Flick, losing 1-0 to Hungary in the Nations League.

The visitors arrived in Leipzig as surprise table toppers, one point and one place above their opponents. They knew that, should Italy fail to beat England in the evening’s other Group A3 fixture, a win against Die Mannschaft would be enough to see them through to next summer’s finals.

Hungary showed they meant business right from the start with Dominik Szoboszlai and Daniel Gazdag putting Germany’s defence under pressure. They took an early lead from a corner with 17 minutes on the clock, Adam Szalai meeting Szoboszlai’s clipped delivery at the near post and, in a fantastic show of skill, flicking it up and over Marc-Andre ter Stegen and into the far corner.

While Germany had the majority of possession, they did very little with it. Hungary continued to look the more threatening side, almost doubling their lead when Gazdag nipped in and forced a reflex save from Ter Stegen at close range.

Come half-time, with England and Italy drawing 0-0 at San Siro, the visitors only needed things to stay as they were to ensure top spot in the group. It had taken Germany 39 minutes to even get an effort on target, Thomas Muller heading straight at Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi after being picked out at the back post by David Raum.

Flick made a tactical switch at half-time, bringing on Thilo Kehrer for Gnabry and swapping a back four for a back three – matching their opponents – in the process. Germany looked much-improved, with Jonas Hofmann teeing up Muller to lash into the back of the net only for the flag to go up for offside.

Timo Werner went close moments later, drawing a save from Gulacsi after being played through by Muller, before Joshua Kimmich forced the keeper to push a long-range effort round the post with his fingertips. After another good ball from Raum, Leroy Sane ballooned a header wide.

Germany fought hard for an equaliser, Kimmich seeing a fierce shot blocked before firing wide late on, but they couldn’t find a way through Hungary’s massed defence. With Italy eventually triumphing 1-0 against England, however, Marco Rossi’s side now face a straight fight with the Azzurri for top spot in their final group game.

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana