Germany drew yet again in the UEFA Nations League, as both teams scored within the first ten minutes. Hungary got the party started in the sixth minute. After an awkward clearance from Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, Zsolt Nagy was able to scorch the ball pass Neuer for the opening goal. Similar to what happened in the Italy match, Germany responded immediately. Jonas Hofmann was able to get around the keeper and level the match with just nine minutes on the clock. However, there would be no more scoring, and Germany takes the third point in three Nations League games — making it four consecutive draws in all competition. Here are our match awards:
Jersey Swap: Zsolt Nagy
Not only did Nagy provide Hungary their only goal of the match, he also gave us the most comical portion of the match. In the 62nd minute, Germany had the ball near the midfield line. Jonas Hofmann made a run off the ball — near the 18-yard box — with Nagy tracking him. Nagy shoulder checked Hofmann pretty hard. Hofmann was knocked off his path pretty well, but Nagy falls to the ground a few seconds after the contact and rolls around a bit. With the ball still at midfield, the ref had to stop the match for the “injured” player. The Germany players around couldn’t believe it, neither could the commentators.
Der Bomber: Jamal Musiala
Musiala played in the role that Thomas Müller is best known for — a high attacking midfielder who sits behind the first line of attack. Musiala played great for the 78 minutes that he saw. He made great decisions and created a bunch of great half chances. The only reason that he doesn’t get credit for a better game, was lack of connection between him and his attacking partners — Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. Maybe this is a bit of Bayern bias, but in all the instances of miscommunication, it appeared Musiala had the right idea, but Werner wasn’t on the same page.
The best chance he created came late in the first half after a brilliant run into the box, making multiple defenders miss. He got in too far, but was able to find David Raum outside the box and laid it off perfectly. Raum made another man miss and shot for the far post, missing by just inches.
Fußballgott: Leon Goretzka
The trusty midfield duo of Kimmich and Goretzka were able to hold the midfield down. Playing together for club and country seems to be a definite advantage for these two. Goretzka had a match that we have all come accustomed to, and may even take for granted. Although only on the field for 69 minutes, Goretzka was able to lockdown the midfield, which caused Hungary to try many longballs in the attack. Goretzka also proved to be invaluable in the defense as Germany was playing with a back-three and true wingers. Goretzka stood in front of that defense and helped clear the ball when necessary. Nothing fancy, but he got the job done and helped Germany get an ugly point on the road.
Der Kaiser: Nico Schlotterbeck
Schlotterbeck had an interesting first half. He watched from the goal line as Hungary scored their goal, instead of trying to step up on the attacker. Minutes later, he assisted Germany’s goal with the amazing longball that sent Hofmann to the races. Then he gets banged up trying to usher a ball out for a goal kick, all before receiving a yellow for stopping a counter — which only came about because of terrible pass by future Borussia Dortmund teammate, Niklas Süle. What a rollercoaster!
All in all, Schlotterbeck was a beast in the defense, winning balls in the air, forcing turnovers, and clearing the lines. These clearances weren’t just random balls into the air, either. They were great balls that opened up Hungary and allowed for the Germany attack to run onto them. Fortunately, Hofmann got to the one he did and was able to score. Unfortunately, Werner ran onto most of them, and either didn’t make it to them or didn’t make the best decisions.
Meister of the Match: Jonas Hofmann
Hofmann seemed to be everywhere in the Germany attack today. He was cool, calm, and collected throughout the game, whether on the ball or getting checked forty yards away from the ball. His goal was great. As mentioned, a great ball by Schlotterbeck sent him racing towards the 18-yard box. Hungary’s Peter Gulacsi came way off his line to clear the ball, but Hofmann took a great touch around the Leipzig keeper. Already one on one with the keeper, this touch allowed Hofmann to get free into the box with no defender in sight and an open goal to shoot at.
Hofmann could have had a second goal, which probably could have been the winner. Midway through the second half, Hofmann beat Hungary’s high line, barely staying onside, and ran onto the goal, with Werner just ahead of him. One Hungary defender caught up and the keeper came out. A well-placed shot could have made it 2-1, but Hofmann tried to lay it off to Werner instead. The ball was deflected out for a corner, ending the attacking chance. But overall a good day for Hofmann, as Hansi Flick looks to solidify his World Cup roster.