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Test bankruptcy – Belgium shows Germany the limits

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Test bankruptcy – Belgium shows Germany the limits

Status: 03/28/2023 11:18 p.m

Belgium with the German coach Domenico Tedesco clearly showed Germany the limits in a test match on Tuesday (March 28th, 2023) in Cologne. In the first half hour there was even a threat of debacle, in the end there was a deserved 2:3 (1:2) defeat – with many unanswered questions.

The only positive thing about this evening: It could have been much worse. In the first ten minutes in particular, the German team seemed keen to rip any positive start from the 2-0 win over Peru last Saturday to shreds. Nothing went forward, the defense was a disaster. In the 6th minute, right-back Marius Wolf was outmaneuvered by Yannick Carrasco with a simple hip shake, goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen speculated on a low shot in a one-on-one and dived early, giving Carrasco a clear path to make it 1-0 .

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Across the board nervousness in the DFB team

Nervousness spread across the board immediately, and Belgium followed suit. After a mistake by Joshua Kimmich, Kevin De Bruyne used the free space to free Romelu Lukaku, who made it 2-0 in the 9th minute.

After that, things went haywire in the DFB defence, in midfield there was a series of bad passes, and up front no ball came at all. In the 19th minute, Hertha’s Dodi Lukébakio should have made it 3-0 when, after another positional error by Wolf, he ran towards ter Stegen without any counter-protection and pushed the ball just past. Lukaku’s header from the crossbar (21st) and David Raum’s near-own goal shortly afterwards also helped Germany with luck alone – after half an hour Flick reacted to the collective chaos.

Can and Nmecha for Goretzka and Wirtz

Leon Goretzka, who injured his ankle in a duel with Lukaku, and the overwhelmed Florian Wirtz made way – Emre Can and debutant Felix Nmecha should ensure safety. The plan worked, mainly thanks to Can, who immediately rigorously looked for duels and tackles and thus gave his colleagues a clear signal to “hold back”.

The goal shortly before the break was also a product of willpower: Niclas Füllkrug threw himself into a header duel with the beefy Lukaku in the Belgian six-yard box and headed his outstretched arm. Füllkrug personally converted the penalty due – instead of 0:4 or 0:5 it was suddenly 1:2 at the break.

Suddenly the midfield dominated

The can substitution, Füllkrug’s goal and probably also a few approaches to action in Flick’s sermon at least resulted in a different appearance in the second round. Suddenly the German players were looking for direct duels, started pressing earlier, took control of midfield and initially hardly allowed any counterattacks.

Only the clear shots were missing, Kimmich and Gnabry’s shots were blocked again and again, Füllkrug headed just over the goal (57th), Timo Werner’s goal came from offside (59th).

Meet De Bruyne and Gnabry

Belgium put up with a lot but then struck back in the 78th minute: Leandro Trossard ran past the German defense on the break and De Bruyne completed the goal to make it 3-1. Serge Gnabry then just missed the connection after a nice solo, which he still managed to do in the 86th minute on preparatory work by substitute Mergim Berisha and Kevin Schade. Some damage limitation was successful – the bottom line was still a painful home defeat.

A lot of self-criticism on the sports show microphone

The German players were self-critical after the game on the sports show microphone. Emre Can said: “At the beginning we were just too passive, we didn’t fight back in the duels. I then tried to help the team. After 30 minutes everyone played better, we had a lot of possession and created chances. That’s it path we must continue on.”

Full pitcher admitted: “We always lost that crucial duel at the beginning. But after that the attack was much better, we tried to turn the game around and the team didn’t give up.”

And Kimmich admitted: “In the first half hour we weren’t there at all physically and mentally. We deservedly conceded two goals, could have gotten one or more. It was important that we showed a reaction from the 30th minute, but overall it was it too little.”

Emre Can talks about the reasons for the defeat and his own good performance after the 2:3 against Belgium.

Niclas Füllkrug talks about the two very different halves after the 2:3 defeat against Belgium.

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