Goal scorer Joshua Kimmich bent down on his knees and took a deep breath, and German fans honored their team’s performance in the sweltering Bologna oven to standing ovations. A 1:1 (0:0) World Cup endurance test can be counted on with the renewed European champions – but national coach Hansi Flick’s squad still has room for improvement at the start of the Nations League and nearly six months before the World Cup finals in Qatar.
“We can’t be complacent,” the national coach analyzed on RTL. “The first quarter was fine and after that we couldn’t find space and lost our rhythm. We let ourselves be fooled. It was a well balanced match overall. We didn’t have enough pace and a lot of errors in our game overall.”
In Italy, who were not there after failing to qualify in the desert, the performance was mostly good at the start and finish. Munich’s Kimmich (73) made up for the shortfall with Lorenzo Pellegrini (70) – then complained: “It’s not enough for us, we wanted to win,” the 27-year-old said on RTL. “We know that Italy is in turmoil and that they don’t have one or two players with them. We weren’t able to put our game on the pitch the way we imagined.”
Skamaka almost with the lead
Lots of duels, few chances to score in the match between Italy and Germany
It was a warm humid evening in Bologna. About 28,000 football fans, including 700 from Germany, gathered at the Renato Dallara stadium, which was not completely sold out. Those who arrived on the pitch witnessed a strong early stage for the German national team. But for the first target chance, it required one action. Serge Gnabry came down the right and tested Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from a tight corner.
But then Italy got stronger and Germany couldn’t think much. About 20 minutes later, Flick, who was almost constantly on the sidelines, shook his head. Because he saw Timo Werner, who was pretty much in the air for his 50th international game, deals were mainly done from distance – and often missed. On the other hand, the newly formed Squadra Azzurra has become much more functional. Gianluca Scamaca, who knocked the Italian fans out of their idleness, hit the ball at the left post from 19 metres. Suddenly, the calm atmosphere in the stadium returned. Italian fans cheered and cheered for their team loudly and were proud to hoist Italian flags into the evening sky.
But then the Italian fans widened their eyes, because the team of the national coach Flick dared to make serious progress. Thomas Muller passed the ball over several defenders in the penalty area to Goretzka, but his shot topped out. Even Leroy Sane, who has a lot of space, can’t put the ball in the net – a good chance for the DFB team. About an hour later, the weak Leroy Sane gave way to fellow Munich club Jamal Musiala.
Italian Lorenzo Pellegrini (left) celebrates scoring the lead against Germany
Hoffmann came in instead of Henrichs, who could not recommend himself more than Kehrer, whose team made the score 0-1 (70). Kimmich equaled his fourth goal in the 65th international match, and Joker Hoffmann had started. The equalizer was the first spark, and Kimmich again forced Donnarumma with a strong save (79). “We really started well in the first quarter of the hour, but then the game was delayed due to minor mistakes in possession,” Muller said. “The Italians did well. But the claim is that we are playing more dominantly and more clearly up front – with a lower error rate.”
Hungary wins – boos when kneeling
The European vice-champion suffered England’s loss to Hungary at the start of the Nations League. Gareth Southgate’s team lost 0-1 (0-0) in Budapest. Hungary gave its first signs of respect in Group C to Germany ahead of the DFB team’s match in Italy on Saturday night. German Bundesliga professional Dominic Zubuszlai from Leipzig scored an uncontroversial penalty kick in the 66th minute to secure the victory for the powerful hosts.
Some spectators jeered as the England internationals got on their knees before kick-off
Despite the ban on spectators due to the discriminatory behavior of the Hungarian masses, Puskas Square was well filled. According to UEFA regulations, children up to the age of 14 are allowed to enter the stadium for closed matches if they are invited accompanied by an adult.
According to media reports, more than 30,000 visitors were registered before the match. When the England team got to their knees before kick-off as usual as a sign against racism, boos could be heard. Due to the discriminatory behavior of its fans in the European Championship matches against Portugal, France and Germany, the Hungarian national team was sentenced to two matches at home in UEFA without an audience. A two-year probationary period applies to the third match.