Football Features

Germany 2-0 Hungary: Die Mannschaft reach Euro 2024 knockout stages

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:00, 19 June 2024

Germany secured a place in the Euro 2024 knockout phase following their 2-0 win over Hungary in Stuttgart this afternoon.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side came into Matchday Two knowing that success, coupled with Scotland failing to beat Switzerland, would seal a place in the round of 16, but an earlier draw between Croatia and Albania means they’ve progressed at least as a best third-place team.

Future events aside, this was another stellar performance from the hosts, who continue to strengthen their case for winning this summer’s competition. Toni Kroos remained imperious in midfield, while Jamal Musiala excelled again on the flanks.

But it wasn’t as straightforward as their opening contest. For one thing, after the opening six minutes of this match, Germany faced more shots (two) than in their entire outing against Scotland (one). They ultimately dealt with 11, their most at the European Championship since facing 14 against the Netherlands in 2012.

Stuttgart born Musiala broke the deadlock. His close-range finish made him the first player at Euro 2024 to score more than once. Furthermore, at 19 and 114 days, he’s the youngest player to score in a nation’s first two group stage games at a single Euros tournament.

Truth be told, it all came from the brilliance of Gündoğan, who is also having a great tournament, and the same could be said for Manuel Neuer, the indomitable German shot-stopper today drawing level with Gianluigi Buffon as the goalkeeper with the most Euro appearances (17).

No sooner after Germany went in front, the Bayern Munich man produced a brilliant save from Dominik Szoboszlai’s free-kick, which from 20 metres bent around the wall and looked like it might just be sneaking in, but Neuer threw himself at the ball and kept it out at the very last moment.

Hungary persisted and even had a goal disallowed for offside before halftime. Barnabás Varga, who netted in the 3-1 loss to Switzerland, had to bury a header on the hour mark. Gündoğan ultimately punished Marco Rossi’s side. Having played the ball around the edge of the Hungary box nicely, creating space. Kroos and Musiala combined to release Maximilian Mittelstädt, who pulled it back to an unmarked Gündoğan to slot home.

Mittelstädt registered his first assist at the championship and spoke beforehand about the importance of Kroos.

“[He] gives us a lot of security, which is difficult to obtain, both on and off the pitch,” he said. “On the pitch, he’s always available, always anticipates situations, and can create things with the ball like few others. As a human being, he’s still a down-to-earth guy who’s always got a funny saying ready. You’re not intimidated by him.”

It was another staggering passing masterclass for the soon-to-be-retired midfielder. Kroos completed 124 passes, the second-most on record by a midfielder in a European Championship game, behind only Xavi’s 127 successful passes for Spain against the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012. He incredibly produced 47 line-breaking passes, at least 30 more than any other player in this match.

Gündoğan’s effort also meant Germany are just the second team in history to score seven goals across their first two games of a European Championship campaign alongside the Netherlands at Euro 2008.

“Berlin, Berlin, wir fahren nach Berlin!” sang the home faithful after the final whistle. Germany has had some disappointing major tournaments recently, but it has gone very smoothly so far. With a second victory in their second group game — and without conceding — the fans are making their desired final destination for this tournament clear.

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