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Match awards from Germany’s 0-0 draw with France

A win would have been great, but this game represented a vast improvement from the debacle in Russia for Germany.

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Jersey Swap: Alphonse Areola

The French goalkeeper singlehandedly kept his squad in the game. While France looked apathetic and/or unmotivated at times, Areola was on point. Kylian Mbappé used his talents, but ultimately couldn’t capitalize, so it was an easy call to point toward Areola, who played a superb game.

Tip of the Cap: Joshua Kimmich

Kimmich was called on to move from his regular right-back spot to a central defensive midfield role and handled it with aplomb. Germany certainly missed Kimmich’s offensive talents for crossing the ball and playmaking from the outside, but he stood firm and turned in a strong effort as the team’s pivot. It’s hard not to think Kimmich could have done more with those opportunities down the right side than Matthias Ginter.

Golf Clap: Manuel Neuer

The goalkeeper was not tested too often, but when he was, the Bayern man rose to the occasion. Neuer’s instincts and ability to read plays makes him an invaluable asset for Germany, even with a supremely talented backup like Marc-André ter Stegen nipping at his heels for game time. When he needed to, Neuer proved he was still on top of his game by thwarting several quality attempt by France.

Standing Ovation: Jerome Boateng

Boateng was steady all game. Knowing how potent the French forwards were Boateng had to maintain his positioning and be ready for the counter attack. The Bayern center-back executed the strategy to near perfection. The only miscue was a perfectly timed run by Kylian Mbappe that caused just enough disruption to give Mbappe a chance, but fortunately nothing came of it.

Meister of the Match: Mats Hummels

Defensively, Hummels joined Boateng in forming a formidable last line of defense for Germany, but the Bayern Munich man also made some advantageous runs into the box that nearly paid off. When faced with a 1v1 against the ever-dangerous Antoine Griezmann, Hummels calmly stepped up and thwarted a good scoring opportunity. Hummels was a steady presence on the back line and provided the German attackers the confidence to keep attacking even late in the game.

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