It’s been a year in reverse for Die Mannschaft, and with the Euro and World Cup qualifiers, fans were treated to a plethora of competitive matches from the German national team. Not all of them were successful, but there was still good entertainment to be seen. Here are our top five matches for Germany of 2021. Enjoy!
# 5. Germany 9-0 Liechtenstein
2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying group, matchday 9
November 11, Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg
Germany’s penultimate qualifying for the World Cup was rich in highlights. Just eight minutes later, the hosts were awarded a penalty after Leon Goretzka fell into the box for a nasty challenge to the face, and Ilkay Gündoğan transformed him to open the scoring. Liechtenstein, now down to just ten, shot themselves in the foot again as they scored against their own court to double Germany’s lead. Barely two minutes later, Leroy Sané scored the triple after a good pass from Goretzka. The Bayern winger was also instrumental in the fourth goal, bamboozling the goalkeeper and allowing Marco Reus to get the ball home.
There were more goals to come after half-time. Sané struck again in the legs of Thomas Müller just three minutes after the restart. Müller also entered the scoresheet with a header from Florian Neuhaus just in front of the goal. Ridle Baku then completed a world-class finish in the post for his first international goal. Müller got his brace five minutes from time thanks to a few deflections, and Liechtenstein’s misery was crowned with another own goal, this time quite spectacular.
Hansi Flick’s new Germany continued the momentum, even after qualifying for next year’s World Cup. The victory against Liechtenstein was the most important for Germany in 15 years, after a 13-0 victory against San Marino in 2006. Yes, there was only Liechtenstein, but given that Germany could not. to get a 2-0 victory that the last time they faced each other was a very encouraging result.
# 4. North Macedonia 0-4 Germany
2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying group, matchday 8
October 11, Toše Proeski Arena, Skopje
Germany started their second leg against North Macedonia knowing they could have the World Cup finals on hand with a win. But the first half was far from easy. Everything Hansi Flick had prepared didn’t work out very well at the start, and the difficult conditions didn’t help. Half time came and went, and Germany needed a goal quickly.
Fortunately, just after the restart, Thomas Müller made a vital interception in midfield and Serge Gnabry quickly freed Müller, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz with a precise through pass. Müller managed to reach it first and fire for Havertz to give Germany the advantage. The veteran Bayern Munich quickly secured another assist, this time acrobatically with a heel kick in the air, which Werner grabbed onto and finished in style. Werner quickly scored another goal, wrapping the ball beautifully in the far corner from the edge of the box. The final goal came from two youngsters, Karim Adeyemi and Jamal Musiala, the former passing the ball to Musiala for his first international goal.
It was a victory that cemented Germany’s status at the top of the group and also avenged their ignominious defeat to North Macedonia in Duisburg last March. Plus, results elsewhere mean that Germany has become the first country in the world to book its ticket to Qatar, without the hosts, of course. Germany, whose qualification was threatened just a few months ago, took up the challenge and blew him out of the water.
Euro 2020 Group F Day 3
June 23, Allianz Arena, Munich
Germany closed their Euro group stage against Hungary, a team that were easily bottom of the table between Portugal, France and themselves. Or so they thought. Hungary weren’t going to fall without a fight, and it was the visitors who took a surprise lead thanks to a ball header that even Manuel Neuer couldn’t do much against. Kai Havertz brought the Germans back into the game with a header of his own, but that didn’t matter as Hungary regained the lead seconds later. Germany were at the bottom of the group and apparently heading for another humiliating exit from the group stage.
But now, Germany’s efforts paid off with just six minutes to go. Jamal Musiala framed the ball for Leon Goretzka to give up in the path of Timo Werner. Werner’s initial shot was blocked, but Goretzka was the first to hit the ball and landed a powerful shot in the lower corner to tie the score. The goal instantly propelled Germany from last to second in the group, and the game ultimately ended with them on their way to the round of 16. Although their trip was cut short by England, it was still an improvement over the horror sight of a World Cup three years earlier.
It was a great late-night drama, a fast-paced and entertaining game for the neutrals, and overall a good result for Die Mannschaft, despite its failure. What is more, justice has been served. Why justice, you will say to me? Well, those Hungarian ultras in the stadium were a bunch of racist, homophobic jerks. The celebration of Goretzka’s heart towards them was the icing on the cake.
2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying group, matchday 5
September 5, Mercedez-Benz Arena, Stuttgart
Hansi Flick’s first game in charge of Germany was not impressive. A 2-0 victory over modest Liechtenstein did little to calm the nerves of any German fan desperate for a long overdue success. But Flick delivered those high hopes in just his second game, with a fiery performance against Armenia. Only five minutes had passed when Serge Gnabry opened the scoring with a beating half-volley, thanks to Leon Goretzka for the beautiful lobbed assist. Gnabry got his second of the night ten minutes later, profiting from a missed clearance. The Bayern winger then played a big role in Germany’s third game, whipping a cross for Timo Werner to get back to Marco Reus, who was right at close range. The supplier went on to become a goalscorer as Werner slapped a severed header by Goretzka, who got his second assist.
Germany had a comfortable four-goal lead at halftime, but the game was far from over. Right-back Jonas Hofmann scored an absolute belter of around 20 meters following a rather poor corner kick for his first international goal. In stoppage time, Florian Wirtz and Karim Adeyemi teamed up to score Adeyemi’s first international goal, showing that Germany’s future looks bright.
Flick thus silenced his skeptics with a wonderful display of attacking football, so characteristic of his nature, shown countless times during his time at Bayern. The Flick Train never stopped blowing for the rest of the year and ended up winning all remaining games to advance to the World Cup final. See you even more success under the leadership of the new German six-time trainer!
Euro 2020 Group F Day 2
June 19, Allianz Arena, Munich
After a disappointing but expected loss to France in their first Euro game, Germany knew they had to win their next game to get back into the tournament. Their next opponents have taken the form of defending champions Portugal. Would this be another typical German victory, or would Portugal take advantage of Joachim Löw’s severely weakened squad?
The latter seemed to be the answer as Cristiano Ronaldo scored his third goal of the tournament via a quick counterattack. But that’s when the game started to get weird. A streak of passing between Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens resulted in a goal against his own side of Ruben Dias, and the Bayern duo then combined with Kai Havertz to force another own goal, this time around. by Raphaël Guerreiro. Half time came and Germany led 2-1 despite three Portuguese goals.
Germany’s first goal of the tournament came in the second half, when Gosens squared the ball for Havertz. Gosens added a goal to his assist less than ten minutes later, heading a Kimmich cross. Although Diogo Jota pulled one away for Portugal, it was little more than consolation as Germany came away as a deserved winner.
This game made a lot of sense. On the one hand, it was Jogi Löw’s last victory at the head of Germany. It was also Robin Gosens’ one and only good performance under the national colors (let’s hope the trend changes soon). Plus, it proved how important Bayern is to Germany, as both Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich were instrumental in creating all of Germany’s goals. More importantly, it proved that Portugal would always be in the shadow of Germany, even when Die Mannschaft were nothing like their past selves. Plus, what’s not to love about a victory for Germany at the magnificent Allianz Arena?
What was your favorite game of the year in Germany? Let us know in the comments!