After trailing early, Germany came up against a very determined Hungary who were content with just putting all ten field players behind the ball. A lucky goal in the 66th minute gave Germany only temporary relief as the Hungary scored again straightaway from the restart.
A troop of Bayern Munich substitutions changed up the game as Goretzka, Müller, and Musiala all came on in the second half. This allowed Germany to play with a little more pace and technique through the middle of the field. Goretzka ended up with the equalizer that shouldn’t feel like a winner, but does. Germany are somehow through the group and face England next week at Wembley. Here are our match awards.
Jersey Swap: Adam Szalai
The Mainz 05 player and captain of Hungary got his team off to a dream start when he put a diving header past Manuel Neuer. He then went on to captain his side for the majority of the match, leading Hungary in their strong performance.
Never wavering even after conceding the first equalizer, Szalai led the attack right off the restart. His pass to his attacking mate Sallai was inch perfect which allowed him to get in on goal and push the ball past an oncoming Neuer, giving Szalai the assist and Hungary their lead back. Hungary had a great tournament — and who knows what it could have been like with Dominik Szoboszlai.
Der Bomber: Leon Goretzka
Although we are very familiar with Goretzka taking home awards on this site, we haven’t always praised his attacking performance. Playing just over one half hour of this match, Goretzka instantly gave Germany more of an aerial threat in the attack. With so many Hungarian defenders behind the ball, this was one of few chances for Germany to be dangerous in the attack.
Finally, in the 84th minute, Goretzka had his best chance when the ball fell to his feet after a Werner shot was blocked away. His shot was perfect, narrowly missing two defenders and taking a deflection off of the keeper, Gulacsi. This was Goretzka’s fifth goal in ten appearances for Germany and was enough to put them through to the Round of 16.
Fußballgott: Toni Kroos
A lot of pressure is always placed on Toni Kroos when he plays for Germany. Fans and pundits often give the Real Madrid man a lot grief for not showing up for his country. Although he didn’t score a goal — or even put a shot on target — Kroos was very effective in the midfield. In a match where the play was much more compressed, Germany had to rely on the play through the middle.
On the night, Kroos created the most chances of anyone on the field and nearly completed 100 passes at an accuracy rate of 92%. On the defensive side, he also made three recoveries, one interception, and won four duals. It was an all-around efficient match for him, although it might not have been the most flashy performance.
Der Kaiser: Mattias Ginter and Antonio Rüdiger
Jogi Löw had decided to play three in the back this tournament, which places a lot of stress on the centerbacks. Tonight, all three centerbacks did an amazing job. They were tasked with keeping the ball in Germany’s attacking half and chasing down any potential counterattacks. Both Ginter and Rüdiger completed all 95% of their passes on the night. Both players also got forward from time to time and each recorded a shot. Ginter was subbed off in the 82nd minute to make wave for another wave of attackers, which paid off for Germany. This made Rüdiger that much more important in the final ten minutes. Other than the second goal, where there was a mix-up on the restart, the performance of the backline was great, and key to Germany picking up a draw.
Meister of the Match: Mats Hummels
The former Bayern and current Dortmund center-back showed today why Löw should have brought him back a long time ago. In addition to Ginter’s and Rüdiger’s performance, Hummels excelled on both sides of the ball.
His aerial game was massive for Germany — on defense he won seven aerial duals and in the attack he was able to get forward and give Germany a threat on set pieces. He was credited with the assist on Germany’s first goal when Gulasci came out of his net and missed his punch, allowing Hummels to put a high-arching header on goal. Kai Havertz made the instinctive tap in, just in case, but it would have probably went in from Hummels’ effort.
Hummels ended the match with a four total shots, 111 accurate passes (also at 95%), and made five interceptions and four recoveries. Again, why hasn’t he been in the squad since 2018?