It wasn’t a spectacular match. Both sides played good football. The first half went surprisingly poor for Germany, as Northern Ireland had better chances throughout the game. Germany had only one shot on target in the first half and it was in the last couple of minutes. Germany picked themselves up in the second half and managed to score two goals. Here are our match awards for the most outstanding players.
Jersey swap: Bailey Peacock-Farrell
Northern Ireland’s goalkeeper was fantastic today. He had a couple of extraordinary saves that prevented Germany from taking the lead. Even after he conceded his first goal, he made some spectacular saves. If he wasn’t up to his task today, the score could have been quite different.
Tip of the cap: Joshua Kimmich
The midfield was shaky throughout the game, but overall Kimmich played a good match today. He was involved in attacking and in defending and didn’t make any notable mistakes. Overall, a solid performance. He finished the game with two key passes and 90% pass accuracy. But the question still remains — is he more valuable for the national team (and for Bayern Munich) as a right-back?
Golf clap: Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz
Serge Gnabry scored the second goal in the dying minutes of the game after a splendid pass from Havertz. Gnabry was active throughout the game. He struggled in the first half to find his momentum, but as the game went on, he was more secure and stable. In contrast, Kai Havertz made his presence felt as soon as he entered the game. He had two good chances and if he was a bit luckier, he could have scored a goal today. Both of them had one key pass tonight.
Standing ovation: Manuel Neuer
A good performance from the captain! It’s not often that Neuer (or any other goalkeeper) gets the well-deserved praise. After a mediocre last season, Manuel is getting back into form slowly but surely. Tonight he made a one-on-one save early in the game, rescuing his team from an early setback. Besides his save, he acted well during the corner-kicks and brought stability. That’s his biggest contribution tonight — stability. He was calm under pressure and helped his young teammates to resist the high press from Northern Ireland. We expect more games like this from Neuer.
Meister of the match: Marcel Halstenberg
The left-back had a good match and broke the deadlock in 48’ minute with a brilliant volley-kick. Halstenberg was very good on the left flank and deserved his award with his hard work. He was important for both attack and defense. He helped his team with three clearances, two interceptions, and eight duels won. He also had four out of four accurate crosses. The only downside for RB Leipzig defender is that he lost possession too many times, to be precise thirteen. But, all in all, his performance was vital for Germany’s win tonight.