Written by 01:29 Sports

Germany trounce Scotland in blistering Euro 2024 opener

Expectations may not be as high as they once were in Germany with regards to their national team, yet Julian Nagelsmann’s charges got the home crowd well and truly behind them with a 5-1 thumping of Scotland in the Euro 2024 opener on Friday night.

Scotland’s fans may have taken over the city of Munich in the hours leading up to the game, yet in under 10 minutes their bubble had been burst by a youthful and energetic host nation.

Few predicted a Scotland win at the Allianz Arena, but there has been a degree of distrust of the German national team created by dismal performances at their last three international tournaments.

Losing their last three opening matches in World Cups and European Championships, the mood prior to kick-off was somewhat nervous from the home fans, however Florian Wirtz’s 10th minute strike brought a wave of calm relief to Bavaria.

MARTIN DIVISEKEFE

It came from a sumptuous cross-field pass from Toni Kroos, who continues to look too good to retire, and the pass inside from the right flank found Wirtz in acres of space on the edge of the box.

His first-time shot was powerful enough, although Angus Gunn will look back at the shot as one he should have kept out of the net. His palm wasn’t strong enough, and he parried the ball onto the right-hand post and into the net.

Nine minutes later it was 2-0 to the hosts with Jamal Musiala getting on the scoresheet in his home stadium.

Another wonderful creative pass split the Scottish defense open, this time from Ilkay Gundogan, and Kai Havertz was able to collect the ball and play a pass into Musiala.

The Bayern Munich forward left Scotland’s defenders on the floor with a lovely body feint, and he then rocketed a shot into the roof of the net, unleashing an almighty roar from the German crowd.

By half-time the contest was over. Scotland were put under pressure once more with the ball pin-balling around their own penalty area, only for Ryan Porteous to appear to make a heroic last-ditch challenge on Gundogan.

Any such celebration of the challenge was soon put to bed as the referee was encouraged to look at the VAR monitor for a potential red-card and penalty.

The decision wasn’t a difficult one. It was a challenge without malice, but Porteous threw everything he had into blocking a shot and he was simply too high, and on another day Gundogan could have suffered a serious injury.

Havertz stepped up to take the penalty and drilled it into the back of the net, making it 3-0 at half-time against a ten-man Scotland.

RONALD WITTEKEFE

Scotland will need to improve for Hungary and Switzerland challenges

While few expected them to get a result in Munich, Scotland will need to improve in their upcoming matches against Hungary and Switzerland if they are to qualify for the knockout stages.

Niclas Fullkrug put the finishing touch to Germany’s emphatic victory with a thunderous shot into the roof of Scotland’s net in the 68th minute of play.

However, there was something for the Scottish to take as they scored a late consolation goal from a free-kick.

Antonio Rudiger appeared to get out of shape when defending an aerial ball, despite his suggestions he was pushed, and the Real Madrid defender deflected the ball beyond his own goalkeeper to make it 4-1.

In injury-time, Emre Can made it 5-1 with a beautifully hit curling effort which went into the bottom corner of the net. Nagelsmann will now have the country behind him ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Hungary.


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Last modified: 18 June 2024
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