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Germany 0 - 1 Hungary: Initial reactions and observations

Germany are set to focus on World Cup preparation, but this wasn’t the best way to get things started.

Germany v Italy: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3 Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Germany take on Hungary in the UEFA Nations League tune-up for the 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar. Catch the Vix live stream in the US or find how to watch in your country, and follow along with us in the live blog and comments below!

Initial thoughts and observations:

  • A tale of two halves. Germany looked utterly hapless in the first, but came to life in the second.
  • Péter Gulácsi was forced into a number of impressive interventions. At least there’s that.
  • It’s a shame that Hungary have not even qualified for the 2022 Men’s World Cup. They would be a lot for any team to deal with.
  • Germany drop to third in the group after Italy’s 1-0 win over England. It’s a real bummer, but maybe a string of losses is just the shake-up that these players need. Out of crisis, there is renewal.
  • Hungary now have two wins over England and one over Germany and are in command of this Nations League group. What else to say but bravo.

That’s it from us for now! Stay tuned for our postgame coverage right here at BFW: we’ve got Match Awards, Match Observations, a postgame podcast and more:

90’ — Rüdiger earns a yellow after a desperate tackle in a 1-on-1 situation on the breakaway. Time is running out for Germany.

87’ — Nmecha involved right away! A cross finds him in good position to head down, but it’s saved. Kimmich latches on to the rebound from distance and it’s a good effort, but no dice.

85’ — A final roll of the dice from Hansi Flick as Lukas Nmecha comes on for Thomas Müller. Will a box striker do the trick?

Germany nearly concede again immediately, but ter Stegen is strong to the test.

77’ — Chance! Musiala squirts the ball from a tight space out to Raum, teeing him up for an excellent cross. Gulácsi barely palms it out of Havertz’s way, but the shot comes back from range — and Gulácsi, despite being unsighted by his own defender, palms it away.

73’ — Germany chance! Rüdiger finds Kai Havertz all alone in the box and sends a long bomb that reaches him, no offside. Havertz has no support, however, and is forced to play it back out. It results in a deflected shot from range that Gulácsi easily collects.

72’ — Chance for Hungary! Another loose pass attempt through the lines in midfield leaves Müller crumpled in a heap and Bayern caught on the break. Kehrer isn’t in the backline and Süle barely pressures his man enough to force a weak shot. Ter Stegen spills it, but not far enough for anyone to pounce.

69’ — Sülinho alert! The center-back marauds through central midfield and it ends with a Leroy Sané chance on goal — but he’s at a tight angle and it curls wide.

Jamal Musiala and Chelsea FC’s Kai Havertz are now on for İlkay Gündoğan and Timo Werner.

60’ — Kimmich fires a spectacular long shot from incredible range. It’s got Gulácsi beat, but curls inches away from the top corner. Top-shelf stuff.

57’ — Chance! Excellent interplay through the center between Sané, Werner, and Müller tees up a shot for Werner inside the box. It’s touch and go stuff, but Werner only manages to fire right at his club teammate, Gulácsi.

55’ — Half-time subs note: I’d missed this, but Flick brought West Ham United’s Thilo Kehrer on at the half for Serge Gnabry, who had struggled to get involved. Jamal Musiala is now warming up on the sidelines.

53’ — Offside! Jonas Hoffman strays past the backline but he was found and teed up Müller, who fired into the net. Another let off for Hungary, but again, more threatening from Germany after the break.

51’Chance! Gündoğan lifts the ball over the back-line to find Sané in behind, and he fires at the near post. No goal, but this is more lively from Germany.

Half-time thoughts and observations:

  • What’s going on with Germany? They look lifeless and uninspired in attack and vulnerable in transition.
  • Hungary are well deserved leaders at the break — maybe even unlucky to have just the one goal. This despite a 23 dominance in possession from Germany. Three shots — to Hungary’s five — and only one on target.
  • There wasn’t much to do to stop that corner, unfortunately. It was a sensational goal. But Flick needs to find a way to make these Hungarian counters look less dangerous.
  • Antonio Rüdiger has been a bright spot in defense, with his quality helping keep the clean sheet from open play.

39’ — Chance! Finally some sparkle from Germany as Leroy Sané plays David Raum into crossing position in space on the left. The looping header finds Thomas Müller who gets it on target, but Péter Gulácsi has it well-covered.

25’ — Kimmich earns a yellow for pulling down Dominik Szoboslai on the break. Germany don’t look good at all so far — and the Hungarians immediately break with a golden chance off the free kick that is denied by ter Stegen at point-blank range.

17’ — Oh, no. Germany are back to their conceding first ways as Hungary pounce on a corner. Ádám Szalai is fairly well-marked but provides a sumptuous back-heel into the back of the net and it’s 1-0 to the group leaders!

1’ — And we’re off!

Lineups announced! (1:30pm ET)

FC Barcelona’s Marc-André ter Stegen starts in goal as expected in Manuel Neuer’s absence.

In defense, the center-back pairing is Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid) and Niklas Süle (Borussia Dortmund) with RB Leipzig’s David Raum and Gladbach’s Jonas Hofmann as fullbacks. It’s an ultra attacking configuration to break down the Hungarian defense!

Joshua Kimmich is joined by Manchester City’s İlkay Gündoğan in midfield, and in attack, there’s no rest for Thomas Müller, who captains the side today. Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry flank him in a heavily Bavarian-flavored front line, to be led by Leipzig’s Timo Werner.

With the World Cup only a few more months away, Germany get only a few more chances to test out the setup before crunch time. To avoid a debacle like in 2018, Hansi Flick will want to thoroughly explore the players he has at his disposal, including the full host of Bayern Munich players who have been called up for this edition of the international break.

With Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka ruled out due to Covid, Thomas Muller is the most likely candidate to don the captain’s armband while Ilkay Gundogan may slot into the midfield. Former Chelsea star Timo Werner may get another outing at striker, while Joshua Kimmich (who really should be rested) is set for another game in midfield.

Even though the Nations League is a proper competition and Hungary are solid opponents, these games are all about building rhythm in the team and ironing out the kinks. After watching Bayern struggle for the last few weeks, it could be a nice change of pace to watch the same players in a different system and see how they perform.

While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out our podcast? Listen to it below or at this link.

Match Info

Location: Red Bull Arena, Leipzig, Germany

Time: 8:45 pm local time, 2:45 pm EST

TV/streaming: Find Your Country; Vix (free stream — US)

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