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Germany 2-0 Cruises Past Hungary to Secure Last 16 at Euro 2024

by: EdwardB


Germany wasted no time in stamping their authority on Euro 2024, confidently dispatching Hungary 2-0 in Stuttgart on June 19th to become the first team to book their spot in the knockout stages. Goals from Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan ensured a comfortable victory for the Germans, while Hungary face an uphill battle to progress after back-to-back defeats.

Dominant First Half Performance Lays the Foundation

The Hungarians started brightly, threatening within seconds as Manuel Neuer had to be alert to deny Roland Sallai. However, Germany quickly found their rhythm, pinning Hungary back and forcing Peter Gulacsi into a fine save from Kai Havertz. The pressure finally told in the 21st minute when Musiala, for the second consecutive game, found the back of the net. The goal, however, sparked controversy as Hungary protested vehemently for a foul in the build-up, claiming Ilkay Gundogan had unfairly challenged Willi Orban. Their pleas fell on deaf ears, with VAR confirming the goal after a brief review.

Despite falling behind, Hungary refused to crumble and created opportunities of their own. Dominik Szoboszlai tested Neuer with a curling free-kick, and the German goalkeeper was again called upon to deny the RB Leipzig midfielder on the follow-up. Jonathan Tah then produced a crucial block to thwart Szoboszlai once more, as Hungary threatened to equalize. Just before half-time, Sallai thought he had leveled the scores, but his celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.

Gundogan Seals Victory as Germany Maintains Control

Hungary’s hopes of a second-half comeback were dealt a blow just after the hour mark when Germany doubled their lead. A flowing team move, initiated by a clever run from Maximilian Mittelstaedt, culminated in Gundogan arriving late into the box to sweep home a precise finish from close range. Gulacsi, a standout performer for Hungary, continued to frustrate the Germans, making smart saves to deny Toni Kroos, Joshua Kimmich, and Leroy Sané.

With the result all but secured, Hansi Flick opted to withdraw his attacking trio of Musiala, Havertz, and Sané, preserving their energy for the final group game against Switzerland. Hungary, to their credit, continued to push forward and almost gifted a lifeline when Neuer spilled a late cross, but Kimmich was on hand to clear Orban’s goal-bound effort off the line.

Ilkay Gundogan seals victory

Conflicting Emotions: Satisfaction for Germany, Frustration for Hungary

Speaking after the game, a delighted Hansi Flick emphasized his team’s ambition, stating, “We want to be first in our group. That’s important because we want to win every game.” Gundogan echoed his manager’s sentiments, adding, “It’s just amazing to start a tournament like this.”

For Hungary, the post-match mood was understandably downbeat. Coach Marco Rossi couldn’t hide his frustration with the officiating, stating, “In my perspective Germany would have won anyways, but the referee was the worst on the pitch.” However, he acknowledged the gulf in quality between the two sides, admitting, “We needed a perfect match to get a result, and that didn’t happen.”

The Road Ahead: Contrasting Fortunes

The win leaves Germany in pole position to secure top spot in Group A. They will face Switzerland on Sunday, knowing that a draw will be enough to guarantee their place as group winners. For Hungary, the equation is simple: they must beat Scotland in their final game and hope for other results to go their way if they are to have any chance of reaching the last 16.

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