Germany got off to a torrid start against Ukraine, only to fall back into the disorganized malaise that has overcome the team for roughly a year now.
After falling behind 3-1, Germany did show some heart and resiliency to battle back and make it 3-3. At certain points, it seemed like doing Match Awards was going to be a difficult task (and in some cases it was), but things eventually started to look better for Hansi Flick’s squad.
Let’s get to it...
Der Kaiser: Marius Wolf
I was going to give this to Kevin Trapp, but I believe he did not command the backline as well as he could have and it hurt Germany. Nico Schlotterbeck, David Raum, Antonio Rüdiger, and Matthias Ginter were all complete messes defensively for most of the match.
Marius Wolf was the best of the lot as he was awarded an assist when his shot attempt deflected off of Niclas Füllkrug for the first goal of the match. So...there is that. Lukas Klostermann was not bad after being subbed on at halftime, which earned him the silver medal here.
The bronze would go to any random trash can in the building that would have done better in stopping Ukraine’s attack.
It should also be mentioned that Rüdiger had a really nice assist to Kai Havertz in the second half and actually did play a little better on the backline as the game went. Raum also had some really great offensive moments. Still, on this day, Wolf was the man who was consistently average during his time on the pitch...which was good enough to win the award.
Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
Leon Goretzka was okay, but Joshua Kimmich was slightly better overall. Honestly, the midfield was not spectacular for most of the game after a torrid start, but Kimmich got the nod as he was able to knot the game at 3-3 when he converted a penalty kick late in the match. My biggest beef with Kimmich was his sloppiness with the ball. He lost possession 19 times, which is awful. That said, Julian Brandt (who was solid aside of his disastrous back-pass that resulted in a communication breakdown between Trapp and Ginter) was under consideration, though his role was almost more of an attacking position for this match.
Der Bomber: Leroy Sané
Often-maligned by some fans of the national team, Sané turned in a very solid effort on a day where things did not always come easy. It was terrific to see the Bayern Munich winger attacking with confidence and looking to be creative. Sané converted 96% of his passes and only lost possession seven times — he was remarkably efficient.
Meister of the Match: Kai Havertz
Havertz came on at halftime, made a brilliant play on a pass from Rüdiger where he headed a lofted ball in to himself and deftly finished the play for a goal. Havertz might have been subpar for Chelsea FC this season, but he has found his rhythm with Germany. He also drew a game-tying penalty when his physicality and burst caused him to be pulled down in the box. Kimmich finished the penalty and Germany walked away with a draw (and a huge sigh of relief).
Simply put, Havertz was an absolute difference-maker in the match and changed everything with his ability be disruptive in the box. His combination of speed and movement within the final-third made him a tough chore for Ukraine to defend.
Interested in more analysis of the game? Then why not check out our postgame podcast? We talk about the back three and Hansi’s selection headache at fullback, issues with experience, and the lack of chance creation. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all the support!