In the first half, the German national team narrowly avoided a debacle. Only after Emre Can and Lukas Nmecha came on did the tide turn. The individual criticism.
Goal – Marc-André ter Stegen: Couldn’t do anything about the goals scored by Carrasco and Lukaku in the first half. Ter Stegen did what he could to prevent worse. As usual, calm and safe with the ball at your feet. Was criminally left alone by the people in front of him several times. In the second half there was hardly any more demand until the third Belgian goal, which he also couldn’t prevent. A thankless game for a goalkeeper.
Defense – David Raum: Played a spooky first half. The left defender often looked disoriented on the defensive, his otherwise feared crosses got stuck on the opposing defenders or even landed behind the opposing goal. He was almost never able to provide relief from his side. More active in the second half, but still without much effect. Substitution in the 68th minute.
ADefense – Matthias Ginter: Seemed completely overwhelmed in view of the Belgian offensive. Won almost no duels, was never really in the right position and was anything but a safety factor. For half an hour, Ginter seemed as if he hadn’t mentally arrived at the Cologne stadium. At least stabilized as a result – like the entire team.
Defense – Thilo Kehrer: The German central defender bounced off Belgium attacker Lukaku several times like a rubber wall and was too often a step too late. In the second round then more robust and purposeful in the duel, could not be so easily shaken off. However, he did not advertise himself.
Defense – Marius Wolf: Tried to interpret his right full-back position offensively from the start. Almost inevitably came too late before the 0:1 against Carrasco and was far too easy to play off. Afterwards, too, Wolf acted with hair-raising defensive weaknesses in duels and in positional play (both against Lukebakio). In the second round against the slacking Belgians they were much more solid, but not in the right position against strong attackers.
Midfield – Joshua Kimmich: Where is the aggressive leader, the strategist on central defense that Joshua Kimmich was once so impressive? Before the 0:2, Kimmich lost the ball in midfield almost without physical resistance. Otherwise there were no impulses, no passes. Looked completely disoriented, his deep passes hardly ever arrived. He tried more in the second round, but Kimmich seems overplayed overall.
Midfield – Leon Goretzka: Very hard, but the 28-year-old currently lacks the playful ideas and physical freshness. He doesn’t lack will but the midfielder is currently a shadow of years past. Had to be substituted after 32 minutes with a foot injury.
Midfield – Florian Wirtz: If you didn’t look closely, you probably wouldn’t have noticed that the actually so brilliant technician was standing on the field. The game went completely past the 19-year-old from Leverkusen. Was substituted after 32 minutes – his most striking scene.
midfield – Serge Gnabry: At least in the initial phase a small ray of hope in an unsettled German team. Tried an attacking dribble, helping deep into his own defence. But even he wasn’t able to raise himself to the necessary level of play in the long run. Towards the end of the second half, Gnabry got going again. Shortly before the end he hit the post after a remarkable dribble, after which he reduced the lead to 2:3.
Attack – Niclas Full Pitcher: He first drew attention after 42 minutes when he headed Lukaku’s arm from a corner before converting a legitimate penalty. Until then completely submerged – but also with no allusions and crosses provided by his teammates. Hard to see in the second half either. Not a game for a true centre-forward.
Attack – Timo Werner: Initially had to drop back into midfield due to the great Belgian superiority, but did little to improve the German game. Except for a “shot” in the first half, there was nothing to see in Werner’s offensive. Tried to show himself more in the second half but was still unlucky.
Midfield – Emre Can: After being substituted on (for Goretzka), he immediately took the initiative, used his body massively and was pretty much the only DFB player to defend himself against the enthusiastic Belgians. The Dortmunder radiated to his teammates and brought about a small mood swing in the DFB team. Can was a clear enrichment for the German game.
Midfield – Felix Nmecha: Like Can, the Wolfsburg player came into play in the 32nd minute (for Wirtz) and tried to save, which hardly seemed possible. Nmecha also threw himself rustically into the duels like the Dortmunder and did what was necessary to reduce the German inferiority and the chaos as much as possible. Brought a playful line into the game in the second half – and drew attention to himself.
Defense – Christian Günter: From the 68th minute of the game, the 1:3 against Kevin de Bruyne came too late. Otherwise hardly noticeable.
Changed from 80 minutes: Josha Vagnoman (for Wolf), Mërgim Berisha (for Füllkrug), Kevin Schade (for Werner).