HomeNFLFullkrug scores late as Euro 2024 host Germany beats Netherlands 2-1 for...

Fullkrug scores late as Euro 2024 host Germany beats Netherlands 2-1 for another morale-boosting win

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Germany substitute Niclas Füllkrug scored late to give the European Championship host a morale-boosting 2-1 win over the Netherlands in their friendly on Tuesday.

The excellent Dutch goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen tried fishing Füllkrug’s effort off the line in the 85th minute, but a check confirmed the ball had crossed the line, giving Germany its second win from two games after its 2-0 victory over France on Saturday.

It ended a Dutch run of four straight wins and rewarded Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann for a team shakeup that included six new faces and Toni Kroos’ return from international retirement.

The Real Madrid star’s corner provided the platform for Füllkrug to score the winner as Germany recovered from conceding an early goal.

A poor pass from Maximilian Mittelstädt for Jonathan Tah allowed Memphis Depay to cross for Joey Veerman, who scored with a volley in the fourth minute.

It gave Nagelsmann the conditions he had asked for before the game — a character test in the face of adversity for his players — who responded with ball possession before Mittelstädt atoned for his earlier mistake with the equalizer in the 11th.

Jamal Musiala crossed the ball after a Kroos corner and Mittelstädt struck it perfectly outside the penalty area to send it in off the underside of the crossbar.

Peter Schilling’s 1980s hit “Major Tom” rang around the stadium for the first time. Thousands of German fans had signed a petition to make it the official German goal-jingle.

The team in pink — also a first for Germany — dominated possession for the rest of the half, though İlkay Gündoğan had to clear the ball ahead of Donyell Malen after a Dutch free kick that could have yielded the visitors’ second goal.

Tijjani Reijnders and Depay had the best Dutch chances, before Verbruggen denied Mittelstädt and then Musiala before he was finally beaten.

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“Today we had an even more challenging game than against the French, because the variability that Holland has in the build-up is extraordinary, with a lot of positional changes,” Nagelsmann said. “It was a very good game and something we can analyze with regard to the European Championship.”

Germany next plays in June against Ukraine and Greece for its final Euro 2024 warmup games. It opens the tournament against Scotland in Munich on June 14, then plays Hungary in Stuttgart on June 19 and Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23.

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