A barely believable match on a barely fathomable night in a barely comprehensible sport ended with Leon Goretzka’s late goal earning Germany their spot in the last 16. They finish second in the group and face England next, while Hungary go home after giving a tremendous account of themselves.
In driving Munich rain, Germany started well, but Hungary defended stoutly and showed enterprising intent on the counter. And on 10 minutes, they had something to show for it, Roland Sallai dropping off to cross brilliantly, and Adam Szalai contorted his body beautifully to send a diving header skidding past Manuel Neuer.
Germany pushed for an equaliser but struggled to create while Hungary remained a threat, but then on 66 minutes and out of nothing, Kai Havertz headed home from underreported the bar after Peter Gulasci had come for Joshua Kimmich’s free-kick and missed his punch. For a second, Germany were into the east 16, but Hungary flew at them directly from kick-off and when Szalai put a ball in between Leroy Sane and Mats Hummels, Andras Schafer burst between them to beat Neuer a second time.
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In the time that remained, Germany huffed and puffed, but the reality is that they were well beaten … until Goretzka stepped in, saving Jogi Low from retiring in ignominy. Football, eh?


Germany’s win over Portugal was probably the outstanding performance of the group stages, but Portugal played into their hands. Hungary and France, on the other hand, did nothing of the sort, and as such Germany struggled against both.

There are, of course, problems inherent within theirs and any 3-4-3 system – space in behind the wide men, not enough men in midfield – but especially theirs. Toni Kroos is a great of his generation, but lacked the physicality to play in a two even at his peak, never mind now, while Ilkay Gundogan is a lovely player but lacks dynamism and running power.
What makes it all the stranger is that Jogi Low, who has a dicky defence and no centre-forward, could easily protect one and feed the other by picking Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Thomas Muller. The trio play together for Bayern Munich - have won league and Champions League playing together for Bayern Munich - and yet, for whatever reason, Low doesn't fancy it.
As such, it is hard to see them beating a top team in a knockout ... and on Tuesday, we'll find out if England count as one.


Attila Fiola (Hungary) Any one of six or seven Hungarians would be a worthy nomination, but Fiola shut down Robin Gosens, Germany's most dangerous player of late, and also provided a key attacking outlet.

Schafer puts Hungary in front

Image credit: Getty Images


Germany: Neuer 6, Ginter 5, Hummels 5, Rudiger 5, Kimmich 5, Gundogan 4, Kroos 4, Gosens 4, Havertz 6, Sane 4, Gnabry 4. Subs: Muller 6, Werner 6, Goretzka 7, Musiala 7, Volland 6.
Hungary: Gulacsi 6, Nego 7, Botka 8, Orban 7, Attila Szalai, Fiola 8, Kleinheisler 8, Nagy 6, Schafer 7, Adam Szalai7, Sallai 8. Subs: Schon 6, Varga 6, Lovrenscis 6, Nikolic 6.


Today's four games saw total of 18 goals score,; the most on a single day in the history of the competition.


10' - WHAT A GOAL! Germany 0-1 Hungary (Szalai) Hungary work it through midfield nicely, then Sallai takes possession 30 yards from goal, right-hand side, and curves a delectable cross into the middle, where Sallai contorts his body into a dive that forces his head behind the ball, and he powers a glance low past Neuer. Brilliant cross, unbelievable header, and as things stand Hungary are going through and Germany are going out!

17’ - Havertz has had enough, driving to the line and clipping back a inviting low cross. But with Gnabry in the middle and Gosens tanking in, Gulasci dives to impart a crucial fingertip which takes it away from both. It won't be seen as such, but that is a brilliant save.

21’ - Germany win a corner down the right and Kimmich swings it out towards the back post and Hummels is up above Orban ... but he hammers his header against the bar!

62’ - ... and Sallai hits a beauty, curling flat and fast, hitting the outside of the near post! I think Neuer had it covered, but that was a fine effort nevertheless

66’ - GOAL! Germany 1-1 Hungary (Havertz) This was not coming, but for the fact that it came! Kimmich swung in a terrific free-kick that tempted Gulasci to come; he missed his punch, by decade, Hummels won the second ball, heading goalwards, and Havertz nodded in form under the bar!

68’ -GOAL! Germany 1-2 Hungary (Schafer) ARE YOU KIDDING ME! WHAT ARE WE SEEING! Hungary keep it from kick-off, pump it forward once, it comes back and they go again, then Szalai sticks it down the middle between Sane and Hummels, Schafer charging between them desperate to put himself in harm's way while the German defenders demured, and he lifts an excellent finish over Neuer! we're seeing football! Football!

84’ - GOAL! Germany 2-2 Hungary (Goretzka) The subs make the difference! Werner finds Musiala down the right and he wriggles onto the ball then cuts it back for Werner again. His shot is blocked but the ball rebounds to Goretzka and he flings every fibre of his solidity into ta shot which flicks of Schafer and tears past Gulasci! This game! This game!ÿ¿m
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