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Gundogan 8, Musiala 7; Szoboszlai 7, Varga 5

Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan scored as hosts Germany became the first team to qualify for the last 16 of Euro 2024 after beating Hungary 2-0 in Stuttgart on Wednesday.

Musiala struck for the second midway through the first half, much to the anger of the Hungarian players who felt a foul should have been awarded in the build-up.

Gundogan took second place for his side after 67 minutes as Germany moved to a second successive win in Group A, ensuring they will progress to the knockout stages as one of the top third-placed sides.

Julian Nagelsmann’s men can take top spot when they play Switzerland in their final group match in Frankfurt on Sunday.

“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,” Gundogan said. “But that’s the tournament: you have to survive such situations. We survived and then struck back.

“I wanted to remain patient, complete my tasks without taking myself too seriously. The more you train together, the better the feeling for your teammates – the feeling gets better with the guys around me.”

Hungary are staring at elimination after back-to-back defeats and must beat Scotland if they are to have any chance of reaching the last 16. “Scotland are a very physical team,” said manager Marco Rossi.

“The most important thing we have to do in the last match is to show on the pitch what our fans always ask of us: they know our level. I don’t ask them to score goals, I ask them to give their maximum effort.

“We worked on tactics and mentality, my boys responded quite well and I am proud of their performance. I said a while ago that losing against Germany can happen. They have world class players.

“Our approach could have worked, but they have quality all over the pitch. That’s part of the game, we created quite a few chances, but at times we were unlucky. We were unlucky the whole match.”

Hungary almost struck in the opening seconds when Manuel Neuer rushed out to clear the ball from Roland Sallai’s toe.

Kai Havertz outwitted Willi Orban but was superbly denied by Peter Gulacsi, who extended his right hand to deny the Arsenal striker.

The hosts took the lead when Musiala passed the ball for Gündogan and the Germany captain kept the attack alive after pushing with Orbán, allowing Musiala to smash the ball in off the crossbar with a touch to Attila Fiola.

Dominik Szoboszlai’s curling free-kick produced a great stop from Neuer that flew to the right, with the goalkeeper kicking the follow-up away as Hungary tried to scramble for the rebound.

A key block from Jonathan Tah in quick succession thwarted a second chance for Szoboszlai, after which Musiala drilled into the side netting at the other end.

Hungary had the ball in Germany’s goal in first-half stoppage time, but Sallai’s effort was ruled out for offside after Neuer punched away Orban’s header.

Germany took apart the Hungarian defense with a patient attack and doubled their lead just after the hour mark. Maximilian Mittelstaedt found space on the left and slid over a pass for Gundogan to head home from close to the penalty spot.

Neuer had a nerve-wracking moment late on when he spilled a cross, but Kimmich cleared Orban’s shot off the line to keep a clean sheet for Germany.

Updated: June 20, 2024, 4:12 am

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