A rivalry that so rarely disappoints, Germany and the Netherlands delivered another classic in Hamburg on Friday night, but it was the hosts who were on the receiving end of a six-goal thriller. Serge Gnabry had opened the scoring early to hand the hosts a half-time lead following a 45 minutes in which the Dutch posed little threat.
However, that all changed after the break as Ronald Koeman’s side sparked a comeback on the back of a quickfire double. Frenkie de Jong got the ball rolling with his first ever international goal before Jonathan Tah put the ball into his own net in the midst of a goalmouth scramble. It was one of several mistakes that cost die Nationalmannschaft. Even when Germany seized upon a lifeline from referee Artur Dias with Toni Kroos converting from the spot after Matthijs de Ligt was penalised for handball, they never looked likely to take all three points.
Instead the Netherlands seized upon mistakes and uncertainty to rub further salt in the wounds, snuffing out Germany’s hopes of preseving their one hundred per cent record in Group C with Donyell Malen and Georginio Wijnaldum wrapping up the win with goals in the final ten minutes.
Following their first home defeat in EURO qualifying since 2007, Germany will still have a chance to go top of Group C when they take on group leaders Northern Ireland on Monday in Belfast.
+++++AS IT HAPPENED+++++
Germany 2-4 Netherlands
(Gnabry 9′, Kroos 72′; de Jong 59′, Tah OG 66′, Malen 80′, Wijnaldum 90+1′)
FULL TIME VERDICT: Germany were the makers of their own downfall in the end as they got caught cold by a much-improved second half performance from the Netherlands. Joachim Löw’s side lose their one hundred per cent record in Group C, but can still go top on Monday.
90+1′ GOAL! Germany 2-4 Netherlands
Game over. A sweeping counter from the visitors sees Wijnaldum get in on the goal-scoring act with a tap in from six yards after some stunnign build-up play. It all came from a Süle mistake though.
89′ All is not lost
Germany will still have a chance to move top of Group C on Monday when they face currently table toppers Northern Ireland in Belfast, but they’ll need to cut out the mistakes of which they’ve made far too many tonight.
86′ No way through
The Netherlands are sitting very deep as we enter the closing stages. The onus is on Germany to make something happen, but they look liklier to concede on the counter than they do of producing an equaliser.
82′ Still hope?
Germany are desperate now and Julian Brandt is brought off the bench for Ginter. He’s made an impact as a substitute for Dortmund already this season can he at least help rescue Germany’s unbeaten record in Group C?
80′ GOAL! Germany 2-3 Netherlands
The Netherlands carve through Germany’s backline with some eye-catching and incisive passing as Malen comes off the bench to open his account on his international debut after Depay produces the cheekiest of assists. It has to be seen to be believed.
78′ Uphill battle?
Former Germany international Steffen Freund keeps referencing how “lucky” Germany are to be level following that penalty. The Netherlands are still on the front foot and the worrying thing for Germany is that with Reus and Werner off the pitch they don’t have as much width, while Havertz, Kroos and Gündogan are all trying to pick up similar positions in congested central area.
74′ Glorious chance
This game has been blown wide open and it’s anyones to win now. The Dutch go close to restoring their lead, but Depay’s inability to connect cleanly with a cut-back allows Neuer to make another pivotal save.
72′ GOAL! Germany 2-2 Netherlands
Toni Kroos makes no mistake from the spot sending Cillessen the wrong way. Game back on!
71′ PENALTY TO GERMANY
Schulz breaks to the byline on the left and sees his cross blocked. With the ball loose it bounces off the arm of de Light and the referee points to the spot.
70′ Different storyline in Hamburg
The game has been completely turned on its head. Germany trail for the first time in the match, something they never did in the 3-2 win back in March. Back then they took a 2-0 lead before Schulz rescued the win late on following a Dutch comeback.
66′ GOAL Germany 1-2 Netherlands
Oh dear! Germany fail to deal with a Dutch corner as van Dijk draws another magnificent save out of Neuer with a towering ehader. However, Germany’s No1 is let down by his backline who fail to clear allowing Depay to put the ball back in the mix, where Tah bundles home after Babel failed to provide the decisive touch.
61′ Double change
Joachim Löw reacts by making two changes, bringing Gündogan and Havertz off the bench to replace Reus and Werner. Neither quite made the desired impact on the game, but in the case of both it wasn’t for the lack of trying.
59′ GOAL! Germany 1-1 Netherlands
What a touch. What a goal. Frenkie de Jong’s first international goal is glorious. Babel fizzes a ball into the middle, Schulz has to do better with the 50-50-in the box, but de Jong’s first touch oozes class and finesse, leaving him with a golden opportunity which he buries past Neuer.
56′ Neuer to the rescue!
The best chance of the game for the Netherlands fails to get the better of Neuer between the sticks. The visitors work the ball well down the right before finding Babel in the middle. With his back to goal Babel tees up Wijnaldum whose first-time effort has Neuer at full stretch to claw the chance away.
55′ Tah the vulnerability
The Bayer Leverkusen centre-back hasn’t had his best game in Germany colors and Depay is the latest to beat him for pace and power before his cutback is crucially cut out by Kimmich with Promes loitering.
53′ Germany looking dangerous
The game has certainly opened up in the second half and Joachim Löw’s charges are looking to put the Dutch on the back foot at every opportunity. Schulz is the latest to make a surging run forward, but his cross-cum-shot fails to find a teammate with de Ligt clearing at the back.
51′ Penalty shout?
Germany should have a penalty. A dangerous delivery comes in from Schulz and with Gnabry looking to latch on the end of it, Blind makes a clumsy challenge from behind that knocks Gnabry off balance. The Dutch defender made no attempt to play the ball.
49′ Great chance!
de Roon goes into the referee’s book for a foul on Kroos. The free-kick is taken quickly with Reus pinging a brilliant ball over the top for Klostermann who finds Gnabry in support. With the angle against him, Gnabry smashes the abll across goal which is almost turned into his own net by de Ligt.
We’re back underway in Hamburg and as the German commentator on RTL just said “after a first half that was a lot of chess, we’re expecting entertainment in the second half.” Let’s hope he’s right.
HALF-TIME VERDICT: Germany have executed a very sensible game plan so far and lead through Gnabry’s eight goal in nine games for his country. Löw will be pleased with the threat his side have posed and how little they’ve been threatened. However, we won’t know if they’ve learned all their lessons until the end of the 90 minutes. After all the second half of their 3-2 win in March was of great contrast to the first.
The goal that separates Germany and the Netherlands at half-time in Hamburg.
42′ WHAT A SAVE!
A glorious chance for Germany to double their lead goes begging. Reus finds a pocket of space inside the Dutch penalty area, takes one touch to settle himself only to see his fierce effort pushed brilliantly saved by Cillessen. There was a hint of offside but the flag stayed down.
39′ Much ado about nothing
Corner for the Netherlands, who have struggled to pose Germany’s backline a problem from open play in the last 10 minutes. They work the set-piece short, but the chance comes to nothing as the ball crosses the byline in the build-up.
35′ Handbags in midfield!
Tempers fray momentarily after a hefty 50-50 challenge in the air between Kimmich and de Ligt with the Dutch quickly surrounding the Bayern player. Kimmich and Depay (who got a bit pushy in the fracas) have both gone in the referee’s book.
32′ No space to work with
The Netherlands are still enjoying the lion’s share of possession, but with Germany threatening in transition they’ve adopted a more risk-averse approach with their passing. The hosts are doing a great job of keeping space tight.
27′ Find the pass…
Germany break forward at pace, this time after great defensive work from Gnabry. Werner again turns on the after burners, but Reus’ pass is behind the Leipzig striker stopping him in his tracks. His pace is causing problems for defenders and teammates alike.
26′ What a waste!
Gnabry’s confidence is a blessing and a curse! Germany break in transition with one incisive pass releasing Gnabry, but with Werner in acres of space to his right, the Bayern star instead tries to chip Cillessen on the run from 35 yards. An easy save for the Dutch keeper and Werner isn’t happy.
22′ de Ligt misses the target
The Netherlands are awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area. Depay floats a ball towards the back post where de Ligt is up like a salmon to win the header. However, he gets his angles wrong and sends his effort back across goal and wide of the target.
19′ Tough task
The midfield battle is proving fierce. When the lines are broken, both sides look dangerous, but having taken the lead Germany aren’t syhing away from absorbing pressure and trying to counter. The Dutch have had more possession, but Germany lead four shots on goal to one and, more importantly, 1-0 on the scoresheet.
Gnabry wins a free-kick 20 yards out which has Toni Kroos’ name all over it. The Real Madrid man goes for goal himself and whips an effort over the bar that just lacked a bit of dip. Cillessen looked to have had it covered though.
13′ GOAL-den Gnabry
Joachim Löw broke from convention by singling Gnabry out for high praise and a guaranteed starting berth – unsurprisingly the Bayern man has repaid his faith. He opened the scoring in the 3-2 win back in March and he’s followed suit tonight moving onto eight goals in nine appearances for his country. Stunning.
10′ GOAL Germany 1-0 The Netherlands
What did we say earlier? Germany catch the visitors high up the pitch in transition as Kimmich plays Klostermann in one-on-one with Cillessen. The Leipzig right-back’s shot was straight at the keeper, but Gnabry was on hand to sweep home the rebound. The Bayern star now has four goals in four games in qualifying.
9′ Neuer called into action
A mix-up between Schulz and Tah allows Babel to outmuscle the Leverkusen centre-back to spark a break, playing in Depay who cuts past two before stinging the palms of Manuel Neuer.
8′ Dutch control
The visitors have immediately asserted a measure of control on proceedings, but Germany won’t mind providing they can capitalise on space in transition. Right now they’re barely getting a touch of the ball though.
6′ Kroos from range
Germany’s first foray into the final third sees Gnabry shrugged off the ball by van Dijk – the chance is worked to Kroos on the edge of the box whose shot fizzes just wide of the target.
3′ Not quite first blood
Germany’s first period of possession was haphazard under pessure from the Dutch and last less than a minute. The visitors win an early corner, but Depay’s delivery poses no threat.
We’re underway in Hamburg. Can Germany preserve their one hundred per cent record to go top of Group C ahead of Monday’s clash with Northern Ireland?
Why a three-man backline?
Joachim Löw: “Against such strong teams and such an attacking force like Holland we’ve got to strengthen things at the back and sure up central areas. We’ve gone with a three at the back to combat those points – they’re fast and bring stability to our approach.”
Löw explains frontline decision
There was a suggestion that Timo Werner’s starting berth wasn’t guaranteed, but Joachim Löw has explained his thinking behind opting for the in-form Leipzig striker: “Brandt had a bit of a knock in training, but Timo Werner is perhaps better in rhythm and has the confidence of five Bundesliga goals behind him as well.”
Klinsmann backs Gnabry
Following Löw’s comments that Gnaby “is always going to play with me”, Klinsmann shared his thoughts from an ex-player’s perspective: “It’s a great feeling as a player when you have the full faith of the head coach, but he still has to go out there and prove himself as a top-class footballer.”
Not so fond memories
Jürgen Klinsmann has been talking to German braodcaster RTL and reminiscing on the clash between these two great footballing nations in the semi-finals from EURO 1988. Klinsmann won a penalty after a clumsy challenge from Frank Rijkaard. Lothar Matthäus coverted from the spot, but after Ronald Koeman levelled the scores with a spot-kick of his own, Marco van Basten grabbed a late winner. “He was the best player in the world at the time and that defeat hurt,” said Klinsmann.
Update from Group C!
In tonight’s earlier kick-off, Belarus nicked a 2-1 win over Estonia thanks to an injury-time winner from Maksim Skavysh. That result leaves Belarus level on points with the Netherlands, who have played three less games than Mikhail Markhel’s men.
Ones to watch: Serge Gnabry
Joachim Löw had plenty of positive words to share when asked for his thoughts on Serge Gnabry. The Bayern winger has been battling minor injuries at the start of the 2019/20 campaign, but has the full faith of his national team head coach.
A monster rivalry down the years!
Both teams find themselves in flux at different stages of their respective reinventions, but for the Netherlands, tonight’s game is a must win if they don’t want to leave their EURO 2020 qualification hopes hanging by a thread. Let’s not forget this is a Dutch side that has missed out on the last two major international tournaments.
Germany line-up: CONFIRMED!
There are literally no surprises in the Germany starting line-up as Joachim Löw goes with his, arguably, strongest selection.
The Netherlands line-up: CONFIRMED!
Any excuse to watch a Gomez goal
Feel free to hit the button for old time’s sake.
Waldschmidt set for bow?
If he takes to the pitch tonight, Luca Waldschmidtcould become the ninth SC Freiburg player to earn a cap for die Nationalmannschaft. Waldschmidt top scored at the summer’s U21 European Championships and, with 11 goals in his last ten games for club and country, but game time is unlikely tonight.
Niklas Süle vs Virgil van Dijk!
UEFA’s 2019 Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk was asked about his German counterpart during his pre-match press conference and said he’d enjoyed “some nice battles” with Niklas Süle. The pair have faced off three times and have one win apiece to their names, but the Dutch captain had words of praise for the man four years his junior. “Süle is a great defender – he doesn’t play for Bayern without reason.”
Who will step up in Gnabry’s absence?
With five Bundesliga goals to his name already following a hat-trick against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Timo Werner has been in sensational form at the start of the season and is expected to replace the injured Leroy Sane. However, tonight’s clash with the Dutch could also present a chance for the likes of Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz or potential debutant Luca Waldschmidt to impress.
Germany vs. the Netherlands: The most recent meeting
In case you need to refresh your memory of what happened the last time these two rival sides met…
Possible line-up: Germany
Neuer – Ginter, Süle, Tah – Klostermann, Kimmich, Kroos, Schulz – Gnabry, Reus, Werner
Possible line-up: The Netherlands
Cillessen – Veltman, de Ligt, van Dijk, Blind – de Roon, de Jong, Wijnaldum – Promes, Depay, Babel
Joachim Löw is back!
Joachim Löw missed Germany’s last two EURO 2020 qualifiers at the end of last season aftersuffering a training accident that led to him being hospitalised. Both he and Germany appear to be in good health heading into the Group C double header with the Netherlands and Northern Ireland. Antonio Rüdiger, Julian Draxler and Leroy Sane – all out with injury – are the only big-name absentees.
Hello and welcome…
….to DW’s live coverage of the EURO 2020 qualifier between Germany and the Netherlands. These two sides have already clashed once in Group C with die Nationalmannschaft walking away with a 3-2 win thanks to an unlikely hero. Will tonight’s match in Hamburg follow suit? Stay here for live updates from before, during and after the game!