It took a late goal from Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka to give Germany a 2-2 draw vs. Hungary and advance to the round of 16 knockout stages at Euro 2020. After a dominant 4-2 win over Portugal just four days prior, Die Mannschaft looked miles off what they were capable of against a well-disciplined Hungarian side.
Speaking after the match, Joachim Low highlighted the performances of Mats Hummels, Matthias Ginter, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala to highlight some of the key tactical areas where his side won and lost (kicker). Low was particularly critical of a failed cross from Sane shortly before the full time whistle had blown. Had Germany converted a chance from that play, they could’ve won group F given the 2-2 result between France and Portugal in Budapest. “We run three-on-one — and the ball in the end was way too far. These things shouldn’t really happen,” Low said of that specific instance.
Sane started on the left flank just ahead of Robin Gosens, but Low made the decision to switch him to the right side a little before the one hour mark. It was he and Kai Havertz that were positioned just behind Serge Gnabry from the start, but Low felt that Sane would create better chances from the right flank where Joshua Kimmich had previously been occupying. Kimmich was pressing deeper forward as Germany were searching for an equalizer. “We hoped that he [Sane] would prevail on the right in one-on-one, because relatively little went beyond the outside. Gosens was also a bit out of the game,” Low explained.
Defensively, Low was critical of the concession of Hungary’s first goal, scored by Mainz’s Adam Szalai. Both Ginter and Hummels had done a poor job of closing Szalai down as he trekked into Germany’s box and the cross came in from the right channel. Low stressed the importance in those situations of picking up the man in stead of zonally covering, which both Ginter and Hummels failed to do. “Normally when we have a hand-to-hand assignment, there is no area coverage. Mats and Matze [Ginter] were there, but in this situation you have to orientate yourself towards the man,” Low vented.
Ultimately, bringing on Goretzka, Thomas Muller, and Musiala changed the match for Germany and pushed them to finding their late equalizer. Low highlighted Musiala, who made his first appearance of the tournament thus far, having not made the squad in Germany’s previous two group stage matches. “He had some good moments. He has his strengths especially when it is a little tight. He did well for such a young player. He was cheeky, his performance was very appealing,” Low said of Bayern’s 18-year old.