Euro Cup: Goretzka saves Germany from burning | Soccer Eurocup 2021

Goretzka, at the time of saving Germany.
Goretzka, at the time of saving Germany.KAI PFAFFENBACH / Reuters

Hungary slapped Germany, but Goretzka put the ointment on them with a last touch, a lifeline in time that is good for him to pass the round, but not to avoid blush or criticism, or avoid England at Wembley in the round of 16. And it is that the Hungarian team, under a monumental downpour and in Munich, almost put an end to the Löw era [será relevado por Hansi Flick al acabar la Euro], the stage of a coach who gave Germany the World Cup in 2014, as well as a football stamp in the image and likeness of the best Spain. No one can take the fright away from him. Merit of the leathery Hungary, capable of giving the stature in the so-called group of death (France and Portugal also), but which ended up eliminated with all honors.

The coach, Marco Rossi, did not change any part of his once, encouraged by the draw against France, the current world champion. He did not change his plan either – bolt to get shot against the counter – and he went out of his way. It turns out that the second time they passed with the controlled ball of the medullary they made a target. It was a measured Sallai cross between the goalkeeper and the defenders that Adam Szalai finally attacked, enough to beat Neuer and portray the German centrals (Hummels and Ginter), who were content to see him. The first hatchet.

With the adverse result and the shadow of the elimination, Germany recovered the ball because Löw never renounced his convictions or his taste for associative football, even less when it could be his last game as head of the national team. Thus, Germany kept the ball in their possession, but it was difficult for them to decompose Hungary, entrenched in its field, a solidarity team like few others, with infinite effort, generous in aid and coverage. A set with callus that turned out to be quite a headache for the desbravado team.

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Especially because Hungary accepted the siege but with conditions, as it closed the interior corridors so that the rival could only express himself through the bands, Gündogan and Kroos blurred. And with Sané out of tune, Germany took refuge on the right side. Kimmich first warned, denied by Gulácsi; Ginter tried later and continued with the harassment with a shot that was too focused; and Hummels became serious, who headed a corner to the crossbar. Attack on the approach without aim that made him jump the alarms, also remember old ghosts such as the premature elimination in the past World Cup or some recent defeat; expressive against Spain (6-0) or blushing against North Macedonia (1-2).

Löw moves the slate

Without further argument, Germany was blocked, anesthetized before the defensive proposal of Hungary. Löw tried to revitalize his team with a system change – from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3 – with Kimmich on the inside. He also removed Gündogan to put Goretzka. But there was no way to dislodge orderly Hungary. Until a far side free kick arrived, a center from Ginter that Gulácsi swallowed and that Hummels put into play, finally holed the ball by Havertz. It was the draw, the relief. But it lasted a jiffy, barely two minutes because Hungary kicked off the center and after a ball and a rebound, Szalai picked up the ball and filtered it into the run of Schäfer, who beat a Neuer, in no-man’s-land with his departure. Second hack.

Fortunately for Löw and Germany, Goretzka arrived in time to catch an orphan ball in the area, a redemptive goal that also badly punished Hungary. Now, England awaits the German team in a duel of historical duels as remembered by the 1966 World Cup final, resolved in extra time in favor of the English with Hurst’s controversial phantom goal. But that is another story. In this, Germany is present by the hair.

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