Euro 2024: Germany achieves knockout with 2-0 win over Hungary

Ilkay Gundogan set up a goal for Jamal Musiala and then scored himself to give Germany a comfortable 2-0 win over Hungary in Group A on Wednesday, making the hosts the first side to qualify for the knockout stages of the 2024 European Championship.

With two wins out of two, the Germans are guaranteed to be at least one of the four best third-placed teams. They will finish in the top two of the group if Scotland fail to beat Switzerland later on Wednesday.

That scenario would also prevent Hungary from finishing in the top two.

Musiala, playing in his hometown, put the Germans ahead in the 22nd minute after abysmal Hungarian defending led to the ball being crossed into his path by Gundogan. The 21-year-old didn’t need a second invitation and hammered the ball through a defender.

Roland Sallai had a goal disallowed in first-half stoppage time for Hungary and they squandered a number of other decent chances before Gundogan, in a man-of-the-match performance, scored in the 67th minute with a simple finish after a clinical match. build up.

Although few would have bet against the home side, it was in fact Germany’s first victory over Hungary since the 1954 World Cup final. That was the first of Germany’s four world titles, and fans now dream of witnessing a fourth European championship title, and on home soil.

“You feel it when you see the euphoria of the people. The atmosphere is good and happy that it is taking place here,” said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

“Germany is always in the favorites circle, but we have to do our homework. Then we play against the strongest group team.”

Febrile atmosphere

The match, watched by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, started in a feverish atmosphere, with thousands of fans partying all day in Stuttgart.

Hungarian manager Marco Rossi said on the eve of the match that his team could not afford to make mistakes. But that’s exactly what they did at 22 minutes.

Defender Willi Orban went for Gundogan in his own area, but came off worse and fell. The German captain was then able to pull the ball back to Musiala, who smashed it into defender Attila Fiola, while some Hungarian players had stopped and appealed for a foul.

The VAR confirmed the goal after a quick check.

Hungary responded well, with Neuer having to dive for the top corner to parry Dominik Szoboszlai’s free-kick shortly afterwards.

Just before half time they thought they had the equalizer when Sallai headed in from a rebound, but it was disallowed for offside. And after the break they had another chance to level when Barnabas Varga headed over the bar.

But the Germans continued to apply pressure, with Musiala in particular continuing to pose a threat to the Hungarian defense. He was also involved in the build-up when Gundogan doubled the lead in the 67th, whipping in Maximilian Mittelstadt’s low cross.

“We are getting better, but as we get better we have to overcome some problems, that’s what this match showed today, especially in the first half. But that’s the tournament: you have to survive situations like that. We survived and then hit back.” Gundogan, 33, said.

Germany were able to maintain possession and turn back the clock as they secured their place in the next round ahead of the final group match against Switzerland on Sunday.

Hungary could still progress if they beat Scotland and other results went in their favor.

“We made some mistakes, but some mistakes happen in football, you can make mistakes. Teams like Germany and other world-class teams play better than us, we know that. I would say Germany is possibly the biggest favorite to make it to win the European Championship.” Rossi said.

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