Home Sports Switzerland 1-1 Germany: Niclas Fullkrug rescues top spot in Group A for Euro 2024 hosts with stoppage time goal cancelling out Dan Ndoye’s brilliant first-half strike

Switzerland 1-1 Germany: Niclas Fullkrug rescues top spot in Group A for Euro 2024 hosts with stoppage time goal cancelling out Dan Ndoye’s brilliant first-half strike

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An injury-time goal from Niclas Fullkrug rescued Germany from top spot in Group A, while his late goal canceled out Dan Ndoye's brilliant first-half strike.

In Germany you can no longer trust trains. It has been the most surprising element of Euro 2024 for anyone who enjoyed the smooth running of the World Cup finals 18 years ago, and it has ruined a well-worn national stereotype.

And for 90 minutes in Frankfurt, Julian Nagelsmann’s team, a reassuring model of efficiency that won its first two games and reached the round of 16, began to malfunction.

They lost to Switzerland and were seconds away from being overtaken by their Alpine neighbors at the top of Group A when substitute Niclas Fullkrug jumped into the penalty area and scored the equalizer in added time.

A Fullkrug header canceled out Dan Ndoye’s first-half opener and the Germans will travel to Dortmund to face Group C runners-up England. The Swiss will travel to Berlin to face the runners-up of Group B, which will be Italy if they avoid defeat against Croatia today.

The locals responded to the demands of an expectant public with a positive start. Within seconds, Jamal Musiala had provoked a pass towards Ilkay Gundogan that caused Fabian Schar, playing despite breaking his nose against Scotland, to step back to clear the backline. From the corner, Kai Havertz climbed to the near post and headed past goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

An injury-time goal from Niclas Fullkrug rescued Germany from top spot in Group A, while his late goal canceled out Dan Ndoye’s brilliant first-half strike.

Fullkrug was harassed by his Germany teammates when his goal saved the tie in Frankfurt

Fullkrug was harassed by his Germany teammates when his goal saved the tie in Frankfurt

Fullkrug (right) came on late in the game when he replaced Jamal Musiala (left) to provide a greater attacking threat.

Fullkrug (right) came on late in the game when he replaced Jamal Musiala (left) to provide a greater attacking threat.

German coach Julian Nagelsmann cut a desperate figure for much of the match.

German coach Julian Nagelsmann cut a desperate figure for much of the match.

Nagelsmann opted for the same team for the third consecutive game despite already being in the round of 16 with six points in the first two games.

It was probably a decision meant to keep pace more than anything else. It’s still a fairly new team with players making connections and learning to understand each other, and there’s still an element of unknown about what they could accomplish.

Seventeen minutes later, Germany thought they had the lead when Robert Andrich’s long-range shot went wide and made Sommer look rather foolish for failing to read the rebound.

This was the spongy surface that broke so much when England played Denmark on Thursday and it wasn’t much better. Large cuts broke underfoot and the ball rolled slowly, hampering Germany as the team dominating possession.

Sommer got his way when VAR intervened to point out a foul by Musiala on Michel Aebischer as he slid to meet Max Mittelstadt’s cross from the left, before it reached Andrich.

The decision seemed complicated. Forwards are expected to fight for the ball in front of goal and defenders expect contact when trying to defend, but Italian referee Daniele Orsato agreed with his VAR once he reviewed the replay on the monitor and ruled out the goal.

Referee Orsata treated German defender Jonathan Tah more leniently when he charged with a high tackle on Breel Embolo. He was sanctioned with a yellow card that will keep him out of the round of 16 tie.

At that point, Switzerland were already ahead, thanks to a late volley from Dan Ndoye, which gave Tah a slip to block Remo Freuler’s cross from the left. There was a hint of offside but this time the goal survived the technology booth.

Switzerland originally took the lead after Dan Ndoye (red jersey) stretched to smash a volley past Manuel Neuer (right).

Switzerland originally took the lead after Dan Ndoye (red jersey) stretched to smash a volley past Manuel Neuer (right).

Ndoye's goal appeared to have secured Switzerland's surprising 1-0 victory against Germany.

Ndoye’s goal appeared to have secured Switzerland’s surprising 1-0 victory against Germany.

The draw means that Switzerland will qualify second in the group heading into the round of 16.

The draw means that Switzerland will qualify second in the group heading into the round of 16.

Bologna striker Ndoye, quick and agile, always ready to run behind defenders, went close a second before the break, sneaking behind Antonio Rudiger and firing a low shot across the goal. Manuel Neuer was defeated and grateful to see the ball go just wide.

The Swiss sat back and concentrated their defensive ranks, inviting Germany to venture forward in search of an equalizer while choosing their moments to take advantage of the loss. The longer they held on, the more anxious the crowd became.

Sommer beat a fierce shot from Musiala shortly after the restart. He headed towards Gundogan, but too fast for him to adjust and turn the rebound towards the target. His effort was diverted. David Raum, one of the protagonists of Nagelsmann’s first wave of changes.

The Swiss defenders got to work. Manuel Akanji produced a fabulous block to frustrate Joshua Kimmich and the home crowd. Leroy Sané and Havertz went close while, at the other end, Rubén Vargas thought he had made it 2-0, a wonderfully precise finish only to discover he was offside, and Neuer made a quick save from Granit Xhaka before that Fullkrug’s goal changed everything.

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