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WEMGLEE CALLING: Following draw against Hungary, Germany sets up an exciting last-16 clash with England
A late Leon Goretzka goal salvaged a 2-2 draw for Germany against Hungary here on Wednesday night, a result that set up a mouth-watering England clash for the former at Wembley in the 2020 European Championship Round-of-16.
Hungary looked like it would shock its host and send the 2014 World Cup winner out of the tournament after Adam Szalai’s diving header in the 11th minute. Kai Havertz eventually drew Germany level in the 66th minute, only for Hungary to retake the lead seconds after the restart as Andras Schafer ran onto a pass and headed it in.
Goretzka bagged the crucial equaliser in the 84th minute to send Germany through in second place, behind France, in Group F on four points. The run-up to the game had been overshadowed by the UEFA’s refusal to allow the stadium to be lit in rainbow colours to oppose a Hungarian anti-LGBTQ law.
And ahead of kick-off, a protester, waving a rainbow flag, invaded the pitch. It was business for the host once the whistle was blown, however, as it was desperate to avoid a repeat of its shock 2018 first round World Cup exit. But, the away team stunned the home crowd, courtesy of Szalai’s header on a counter-attack.
Germany had close to 70% possession in the first half and Mats Hummels hit the crossbar with a powerful header, but other than that it showed little of the attacking spark it demonstrated in the 4-2 win over Portugal.
It was a scrappy goal that brought Germany level, with Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi failing to connect with a Joshua Kimmich free-kick, Hummels heading the ball on and Havertz nodding it in. But as the German fans celebrated, Hungary scored straight after the restart.
Szalai lofted the ball into the German half, with Schafer lunging forward and heading it past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The home side kept applying the pressure and it finally paid off in the 84th minute. Teenager Jamal Musiala cut the ball in the box and fellow substitute Goretzka drilled it home to earn an important point for Germany.
Portugal holds France in see-saw tie
Cristiano Ronaldo came to Portugal’s rescue with two penalties to cancel out a brace from France’s Karim Benzema in an enthralling 2-2 draw in Budapest, which sent both sides into the last-16.
An anxious night for the reigning European champion saw it occupy every position in the ‘Group of Death’ at various junctures, but the 36-year-old Ronaldo stepped up once again. Benzema converted from the spot in the first half and gave 2018 World Cup winner France a 2-1 lead two minutes after the interval.
RESULTS:Group F: Germany 2 (Kai Havertz 66’, Leon Goretzka 84’) drew with Hungary 2 (Adam Szalai 11’, Andras Schafer 68’); Portugal 2 (Cristiano Ronaldo 31’ (P) & 60’ (P)) drew with France 2 (Karim Benzema 45+2’ (P) & 47’)Group E: Slovakia 0 lost to Spain 5 (Martin Dubravka 30’ (OG), Aymeric Laporte 45+3’, Pablo Sarabia 56’, Ferran Torres 67’, Juraj Kucka 71’ (OG)); Sweden 3 (Emil Forsberg 2’ & 59’, Viktor Claesson 90+4’) beat Poland 2 (Robert Lewandowski 61’ & 84’)
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