On Saturday, Julian Nagelsmann’s first game in his new role as head coach of Germany was a successful one. His team defeated the United States in a friendly by a score of 3-1, and the victory was relatively comfortable.
Germany appeared to be a much improved team compared to the one that had lost 4-1 at home to Japan the previous month. As a direct result of the loss, Hansi Flick was fired as coach following a run of five matches in which his team did not win.
After falling behind early on a goal scored by Christian Pulisic for the United States of America in the match played in East Hartford, Connecticut, the hosts of Euro 2024 responded with a strong and well-rounded performance, despite the fact that they could ill afford to suffer another unexpected defeat.
Although Germany’s Pascal Gross hit the post early on, the home team looked dangerous with Pulisic and Tim Weah energetic on the sides. Germany were without their midfielder Joshua Kimmich due to sickness.
Gio Reyna, who had a heated public argument with coach Gregg Berhalter following the World Cup last year, made his comeback to the starting lineup and contributed some creative touches as the Americans got off to a good start.
Pulisic scored an outstanding solo goal for the United States of America in the 27th minute, cutting in from the left flank and then unleashing a magnificent shot into the far corner. This put the United States on top.
Ilkay Gundogan scored the equalising goal for Germany in the 39th minute after Leroy Sane had done some nice work. However, it appeared that this was only a wake-up call for Germany.
Sane dribbled his way past the American defence, played a one-two with Gundogan, and then attempted to go around American goalkeeper Matt Turner. However, Turner was able to do nothing more than send the ball into Gundogan’s path, and Gundogan finished the easy goal.
After receiving a superbly weighted and one-touch ball from Robin Gosens, Germany’s centre striker Niclas Fuellkrug scored the game’s first goal in the 58th minute to give his team the lead.
Fuellkrug then set up the lively Jamal Musiala for an easy tap-in to make it 3-1 for the Euro 2024 hosts, taking advantage of the disorganisation that existed inside the United States defence.
After being set up wonderfully by Musiala, Sane had a chance to make it 4-0 for Bayern Munich, but the winger missed his effort from a good position and missed the goal by a wide margin.
The performance from Germany was highlighted largely by the speed and skill displayed by Musiala, while Gundogan was, as he always is, composed and cerebral in the central midfield position.
“Against a good team with a lot of speed, we took a very good step in terms of football,” said Nagelsmann, who is 36 years old and believed that his team had been overly rushed in the first 45 minutes of the game. “We took a very good step in terms of football,” he said.
“During the second half of the game, we continued to play at a quick pace, but we showed more patience and control. That was the determining factor,”
The Americans under Berhalter failed to capitalise on the absence of injured central midfielder Tyler Adams, and Pulisic identified a gap in the defence of the Americans.
It is painful. We got off to a strong start in the game. In several instances, I got the impression that we caused them pain. However, there are several minor errors scattered throughout. According to the winger for AC Milan, there is room for improvement in the team’s defensive play.
“It is self-evident that we are obligated to give them credit. They has some absolutely amazing players. They put up a good fight throughout the game.”
On Tuesday, Germany will compete against Mexico in Philadelphia, and the United States of America will play Ghana in Nashville.