Germany defeated Hungary 2-0 to secure the first ticket to the round of 16 at Euro 2024

In the opening round on June 15, Germany demolished Scotland 5-1. Amid the exhilaration, there were still doubts about the true strength of this year’s Euro host. Some opinions suggest that it was mainly because the opponent was too weak. This thought probably stems from Germany’s years of ups and downs, notably being eliminated in the group stage at the last two World Cups in 2018 and 2022, while only reaching the round of 16 at Euro 2020.

Germany defeated Hungary 2-0 to secure the first ticket to the round of 16 at Euro 2024

Facing Hungary today is seen as an opportunity for Germany to verify their prowess. Hungary is the team that Germany hasn’t been able to beat in the last three official matches (losing 0-1 and drawing 1-1 in the 2022-2023 Nations League group stage, drawing 2-2 at Euro 2020).

In reality, while fans were still settling into their seats at the Stuttgart Arena, Germany’s goal was put on alert. After the kickoff, captain Ilkay Gundogan misplaced a pass, allowing Hungary to counterattack and move the ball into Germany’s penalty area. Taking advantage of Joshua Kimmich’s hesitation, Roland Sallai nabbed the ball but couldn’t beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. This situation occurred in the 13th second, and if Sallai had successfully taken advantage, he would have scored the earliest goal in Euro history.

In this match, Germany kept the same starting lineup as when they beat Scotland. However, they had a somewhat different approach. Kai Havertz was allowed to play quite freely, acting like a target forward. Almost all of the host’s attacks were aimed at the number 7 shirt. He created Germany’s first significant opportunity in the 11th minute. With astonishing strength, Havertz eliminated center-back Willi Orban and shot at close range, hitting goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi’s hand. A minute later, it was Andrich’s turn to volley near the goal, but Bendeguz Bolla headed it away.

In a somewhat tugging match, the turning point came in the 22nd minute. Orban controlled the ball from a German center kick but fell under a challenge from Gundogan in the penalty area. Many Hungarian players stopped, thinking that the German captain had committed a foul. But the referee did not blow the whistle, and Gundogan quickly passed to Jamal Musiala who shot into the empty net to open the score. The Hungarian players protested, but VAR intervened, determined that Gundogan had not committed a foul, and recognized Germany’s goal.

Orban – who made a mistake in this situation – had previously worn a U21 Germany shirt before choosing to play for the Hungarian national team from October 2018. Meanwhile, Musiala only needed two shots to score two goals at this year’s Euro, taking the lead in the top scorer list.

Even so, things were still not easy for Germany. Hungary continued to show persistence in their counter-attacking style. Each of their attacks in the remaining minutes of the first half startled the home fans. In the 26th minute, from a free-kick on the left, Szobozlai made a technical shot to the high corner, forcing Neuer to dive to save. In injury time, also from a free-kick by Szobozslai, Sallai headed a rebound into Germany’s net, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

The situation was so precarious that Germany had to slow down, pass short and average to avoid losing the ball to Hungary.

In the second half, Julian Nagelsmann’s team gradually took control, as Hungary showed signs of fatigue. After several missed opportunities, the hosts brought on Niclas Fullkrug and Leroy Sane to finish the match.

In the 67th minute, Germany achieved their goal. From a wing attack, the ball was passed through Toni Kroos, Musiala, and to Maximilian Mittelstadt on the left. The Stuttgart defender made a cross for Gundogan to slot into the far corner to double the lead. In this situation, Hungary’s defense was almost paralyzed. Four players surrounded, but couldn’t prevent Gundogan from receiving the pass.

The two-goal difference wore Hungary down. Germany maintained their position and score, securing an early ticket to the round of 16, while also planning their forces for the final round against Switzerland on June 23.

In addition, they became the second team to score seven goals in the first two rounds, following the Netherlands at Euro 2008. The “Tank” also set the best scoring record in the group stage, surpassing the six-goal mark in three matches in 2020. The last time Germany scored this many goals in a group stage of a major tournament was when they won the 2014 World Cup. This is also the fifth time Germany has won the first two rounds at the Euros, following the 1972, 1980, 1996, and 2012 tournaments. Among these, they were champions in 1972, 1980, 1996, and only missed the title in 2012.

Starting Lineups for Germany vs Hungary

Germany: Neuer, Kimmich, Rudiger, Tah, Mittelstadt, Andrich (Can 72), Kroos, Musiala (Fuhrich 72), Gundogan (Undav 84), Wirtz (Sane 58), Havertz (Fullkrug 58).

Hungary: Gulacsi, Fiola, Orban, Dardai, Bolla (Adam 75), Adam Nagy (Kleinheisler 64), Schafer, Kerkez (Nagy 75), Sallai (Csoboth 88), Szoboszlai, Varga (Gazdag 88).

⚽️ UEFA Euro 1960 to 2021 with 16 tournaments and 10 national champions

⏩ Germany won the Euro 3 times (1972 – 1980 – 1996)

⏩ Spain won the Euro 3 times (1964 – 2008 – 2012)

⏩ France won the Euro 2 times (1984 – 2000)

⏩ Italy won the Euro 2 times (1968 – 2020)

⏩ Soviet Union won the Euro once in 1960

⏩ Czechoslovakia won the Euro once in 1976

⏩ Netherlands won the Euro once in 1988

⏩ Denmark won the Euro once in 1992

⏩ Greece won the Euro once in 2004

⏩ Portugal won the Euro once in 2016

With the participation of the strongest European teams according to the FIFA ranking on February 15, 2024 such as France (2nd) – England (3rd) – Belgium (4th) – Netherlands (6th) – Portugal (7th) – Spain (8th) – Italy (9th) – Croatia (10th) and bright stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku to promising young talents, Euro 2024 promises to deliver top-level and dramatic matches.

EURO 2024 will take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14, 2024 in 10 cities in Germany with 24 participating teams. The teams are divided into 6 groups to select the first and second teams in each group, and the 4 third-placed teams with the best performance to get a ticket to the knock-out round. The opening match is scheduled for June 14 between host Germany and Scotland.

⚽️ Detailed EURO 2024 match groups:

⚽️ Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

⚽️ Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

⚽️ Group C: England, Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia

⚽️ Group D: Poland, France, Netherlands, Austria

⚽️ Group E: Slovakia, Romania, Belgium, Ukraine

⚽️ Group F: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, Georgia

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