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Football European Championship

Füllkrug Rescues Germany With Dramatic Injury-time equalizer

  • June 23, 2024
  • 2 min read
Füllkrug Rescues Germany With Dramatic Injury-time equalizer

Niclas Füllkrug emerged as Germany’s hero, scoring a towering header in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw against Switzerland at Frankfurt Arena on Sunday.

The crucial goal secured first place in Group A for Germany, who faced the prospect of finishing second with a defeat.

Switzerland, featuring players who ply their trade in Germany, England, and Italy and also won the league titles in those countries, put in a determined performance and deservedly took the lead against the possession-dominant Germans. In the 28th minute, Dan Ndoye capitalized on a defensive lapse to slot the ball past Manuel Neuer after being found unmarked in the box by Remo Freuler.

Emboldened by their lead, the Swiss ventured more into the German half despite having significantly less possession. This tactic paid off as Jonathan Tah received a yellow card for a reckless challenge, resulting in a suspension for Germany’s next match.

Despite their dominance in ball possession, Germany found themselves trailing at halftime. The scoreline did little to reflect the on-field statistics.

Early in the second half, Jamal Musiala tested Yann Sommer with a long-range effort, but the Swiss goalkeeper made a comfortable save.

Julian Nagelsmann, the German coach, reacted strategically by making two substitutions in the 61st minute. Nico Schlotterbeck replaced the yellow card-wary Tah, while David Raum came on for Maximilian Mittelstadt.

The search for an equalizer continued, prompting further changes later in the game. In the 76th minute, Musiala and Florian Wirtz were replaced by Leroy Sané and Füllkrug.

Füllkrug ultimately delivered the equalizer in dramatic fashion. A pinpoint cross from Raum found him unmarked, and he rose highest to head the ball into the top left corner in the 92nd minute.

The final whistle blew two minutes later, leaving a bittersweet taste for Switzerland. They were moments away from topping the group but still secured qualification for the knockout stages.

Meanwhile, the other Group A match also saw late drama. Hungary secured a vital victory against Scotland at Stuttgart Arena thanks to a composed finish from Kevin Csoboth in the closing stages. Hungary threatened throughout the match, hitting the post on one occasion and seeing a close-range effort from captain Dominik Szoboszlai saved brilliantly.

Scotland’s tournament comes to an end, while Hungary remains in contention for a place in the knockout stages as one of the best third-placed finishers.

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Samkelo Biyela

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