Jolt for Germans

Updated: Sep 08, 2019, 10:31 IST | AFP

Coach Joachim Loew blames his side's poor technique that allowed their arch-rivals Netherlands to fight back from a goal down and win contest 4-2

Jolt for Germans
Germany players react after their side's 2-4 loss to the Netherlands in Hamburg on Friday. Pic /AFP

Germany coach Joachim Loew said his team played below their best after goals from Frenkie de Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum saw the Netherlands inflict a 4-2 defeat on their old rivals in Hamburg on Friday.

A goal down for much of the game, the Dutch fought back in an explosive second half, as the two neighbours renewed their rivalry again in their fourth meeting in the last 11 months.

'Netherlands were better'

"We are disappointed with the result but the Netherlands were the better side," said Loew. "We played below our technical level and lost possession a lot. That allowed them to apply pressure."

Dutch coach Ronald Koeman said the Germans had looked "tired", and had only taken the lead because his side had made errors.

Koeman's side came into the game under pressure. Three points from their opening two games meant that defeat would see them slip nine points adrift of the automatic qualification spots in Group C.

Germany, by contrast, were in good spirits. A 3-2 win over the Dutch in Amsterdam last March had dispelled the last of their World Cup blues, and Loew's new-look young side arrived in Hamburg brimming with confidence.

Gnabry opens scoring

Serge Gnabry, a key player in the team's revival whom Loew had declared undroppable ahead of the game, gave his side the lead with a poacher's finish on nine minutes.
The Bayern Munich winger pounced on the rebound after Jasper Cillessen beat away a close-range shot from Lukas Klostermann. The goal, Gnabry's fifth in six games for Germany, remained the only highlight in a cagey first half.

Joachim Loew
Joachim Loew

The game opened up as Germany probed for a second just after the break, but it was the Dutch who took advantage, gratefully exploiting the newfound gaps in the hosts' back line.

De Jong grabbed the equaliser just before the hour mark, picking up a Ryan Babel cross and dancing away from Nico Schulz before wrongfooting Neuer from point-blank range. Minutes later, the Dutch were ahead, after some penalty-box pinball at a corner ended with Jonathan Tah bundling the ball into his own net.

Other key results

  • Slovakia 0-4 Croatia
  • Wales 2-1 Azerbaijan
  • San Marino 0-4 Belgium
  • Slovenia 2-0 Poland
  • Scotland 1-2 Russia

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