Germany 2-1 Greece (June 7, 2024) Match analysis

Euro 2024 hosts Germany had to come back from a goal down to claim a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Greece on Friday in a lackluster dress rehearsal before the start of next week's tournament.

Pascal Gross scored the winning goal in the 89th minute as the Germans showed they still have room for improvement ahead of their first match of the tournament on June 14 against Scotland.

In a first half full of errors, the hosts frequently lost possession, and the Greeks had a golden opportunity in the sixth minute.

But Christos Tzolis' double shot from close range was blocked by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

However, Neuer was unable to hold out another shot from Tzolis in the 33rd after the German defense lost possession in their own half, and the goalkeeper deflected the ball into the path of Giorgos Masouras to score.

Neuer's mistake came shortly after German coach Julian Nagelsmann confirmed he was dropping Stuttgart goalkeeper Alexander Nübel as he finalized his 26-player squad for the tournament. Marc-André ter Stegen of Barcelona and Oliver Baumann of Hoffenheim are the other two goalkeepers in the squad.

Nagelsmann committed in March to having Neuer as his starting goalkeeper for Euro 2024, even though injuries meant the Bayern Munich goalkeeper only played his first game under Nagelsmann for Germany in Monday's 0-0 draw with Ukraine. .

Kai Havertz's goal put Germany on track for a comeback win over Greece.

David Inderlied/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

“We know well that in football the bad first moments are part of it,” said German midfielder Toni Kroos.

“Too many mistakes. We gave the ball away too often and then they hit us on the counterattack. We were more focused in the second half. We did better after the break.”

Germany put the ball in the net in the 43rd with Kai Havertz but he was offside. The Arsenal player is expected to start in attack at the Euro with Niclas Füllkrug, who came on in the second half, on the bench.

Germany began to press more after the break, with coach Julian Nagelsmann making five changes in the second half, and they began to push the visitors back.

Havertz did better in the 55th, turning inside the box and tying with a deflected shot.

Greece almost fought back in the 64th minute, but Neuer came back to the rescue before Benjamin Henrichs hit the crossbar with a 20-metre missile.

Gross, also a second-half substitute, secured victory with his long-range shot as the fans, desperate to see the team win their first major international title in a decade at home, breathed a sigh of relief.

“The second half was better at times, at least better than the first,” said Nagelsmann. “We lost possession too many times in that first half.

“We were too slow and we addressed it at half-time. We will now meet on Monday to start preparing for Scotland.

“They are a very powerful rival and we will prepare well and play a good first game,” he added.

Germany also plays Hungary and Switzerland in their Euro Cup Group A.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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