Germany lift off with convincing win against Scotland

June 15, 2024 - 05:44
In a first half where Germany played out of this world, Scotland suffered a nightmare akin to the Brazillians in 2014, with The Tartan Army trailing 0-3 at half-time.

Anh Đức

MUNICH - The German football spaceship has lifted off from Earth, leaving the devastated Scots on land.

In a first half where Germany played out of this world, Scotland suffered a nightmare akin to the Brazillians in 2014, with The Tartan Army trailing 0-3 at half-time.

Kai Havertz (7) celebrates with his team after scoring Germany's third goal. - AFP/VNA Photo

Vietnamese fans used the nickname 'The Tanks' for Germany, after the team's discipline in defence and attack and for their practicality in the past. But the team on display at the Munich Arena on Saturday was not just Panzers and Tigers, but rather, more poetic and philosophical, more Goethe and Schiller.

It was perhaps most evident in the hosts' opening goal in the tenth minute. A precise long ball from Toni Kroos found Joshua Kimmich free on the right wing, who placed it perfectly  for Florian Wirtz just at the edge of the six-yard box.

The German wonderkid, who had a brilliant season with Leverkusen, fired a devastating shot into the bottom left corner of Scotland's goal and although Angus Gunn got a hand to it, the shot was too powerful and Wirtz scored the first goal of the competition.

Germany's main man, Toni Kroos, who is retiring after this tournament, was terrific in the first half, successfully executing all 55 of his passes.

In the 19th minute, one of those found Ilkay Gundogan between three Scottish midfielders and created the space for Germany's captain to create a slicing pass that reached Kai Havertz inside the box. The Arsenal striker did not take his shot however, rather, passed back to Jamal Musiala, who danced past the Scots and fired a powerful shot into the top corner. Zero chance for Gunn.

Twenty one year old Musiala was menacing in this game, with dribbles and feigns so flawless it reminded people of Messi. Germany's No.10 almost won his team a penalty in the 26th minute before it was ruled out by VAR.

Musiala's menace in the wings finally paid off for Die Mannschaft in the 40th minute, as his cross found Gundogan, whose header was saved by Gunn. The ball then found its way to Gundogan again, but before the German captain could get to the ball, he was brought down by Ryan Porteous inside the box. Referee Clement Turpin had to watch the replay screen and decided to not only award Germany the penalty, but also sent off Porteous for the dangerous challenge.

From the spot, Kai Havertz calmly dispatched the penalty and made it 3-0 to Germany. At this point there was no way out for Scotland, being down three goals and having only ten men.

Germany did not let their foot off the gas in the second half. When fans saw Niclas Fullkrug being subbed on, they knew the nightmare would go on. And indeed it did as the 1.89 metre-tall player delivered on his coach's expectations, firing home a vicious volley in the 68th minute to make it 4-0.

But it was not all flawless for Julian Nagelsmann's men. In the 86th minute, Antonio Rudiger played a spoiler at the Munich party, as he clumsily headed towards his own goal, denying his team a clean sheet in their first match.

The goal however, was only Scotland's consolation. The deficit was again widened to four in the last moments of the game, as substitute Emre Can fired a rocket into the back of Gunn's net, rendering the final score a staggering 5-1.

The result not only propelled Germany to first place in Group A, but rekindled the hopes of their fans after more than six years of disappointing results in international tournaments. Pundits who have dismissed the hosts might want to take think again.

For Scotland, leave qualification out of the question for just one day, the elephant in the room here would be: how would you come back from this insurmountable defeat? - VNS