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Germany endure taxing evening against Turkey | DW | 07.10.2020


Germany 3-3 Turkey
(Draxler 45+1′, Neuhaus 58′, Waldschmidt 81′ – Tufan 50′, Efecan 67′, Karaman 90+4′)

Müngersdorfer Stadion, Köln

Hours after headlines of apparent tax evasion from the German FA (DFB), Germany’s players endured a taxing evening of their own in a laborious display against Turkey.

Joachim Löw has long talked about taking this new side forward, but not even Kai Havertz’s brilliance was enough to hide a hesitant and conservative performance from Germany. Löw’s side often suffered from indecision in possession and a lack of intent in transition.

Given the raft of changes to this Germany side, it is not surprising that the performance was largely disjointed and held together by moments of individual brilliance. But lack of a clear playing style was noticeable. The more games that pass without Germany looking like they know the best way to play, the more concerning it will be for Löw and his ambitions next summer.

Individuals impress

Whatever Germany’s future holds, one thing seems certain: Kai Havertz will be at the heart of it. The new Chelsea signing threaded the needle with a great pass for captain Julian Draxler to score the first and then applied the soft touch on the one-two for Florian Neuhaus to score. Havertz is now the playmaker of this team.

Neuhaus, perhaps the man of the match on an impressive debut, produced another notable individual performance. Aside from his neatly taken goal, the Gladbach man was always turning to find more space and time, and ultimately looked very comfortable in midfield. Luca Waldschmidt also overcame being the victim of a conservative approach by smashing home his first senior goal, and a vocal and busy Emre Can reminded everyone of his importance.

Defenders disappoint

Defensively though, there are still concerns. Antonio Rüdiger looked uneasy on the ball, while Nico Schulz might well have played his last game for the national team. As a unit, conceding three equalizers is a disappointment, especially the last one in the 94th minute, and especially given the team has now conceded in such a manner in three consecutive games. Löw would do well to reconsider his use of a back three.

It was a strange game, as most are in the era of a global pandemic. The decision to have 300 fans attending was well intentioned – especially after the DFB’s plan to give away nearly over 9,000 free tickets was rendered impossible because of the current coronavirus infection rate in Cologne – but the smattering of applause felt odd in an eerily quiet stadium.

Ultimately, all international games outside of tournaments are just a chance for coaches to perfect their playing style and figure out the best players to deliver it. Tonight Germany didn’t take deliver as a collective, but individually there were some stand outs. Given the stage and the situation, maybe that’s all Löw could have asked for.

But after a third draw in a row this autumn, both he and his team will know this wasn’t good enough.

+++ Relive the action as it happened below +++


FULL-TIME: Germany 3-3 Turkey
(Draxler 45+1′, Neuhaus 58′, Waldschmidt 81′ – Tufan 50′, Efecan 67′, Karaman 90+4′)

90+4′ GOAL! Germany 3-3 Turkey (Karaman)
Joachim Löw can’t believe it! The German defense are statuesque in the box in added time, Niklas Stark facing two Turkish attackers alone, including Kenan Karaman who equalizes for Turkey for a third – and final – time.

90′ There will be five minutes of added time.

87′ Crossbar! Karaman smashes an effort against the woodwork for Turkey after a defensive error by Stark. So close for Turkey.

85′ Substitution: Julian Brandt is replaced by Niklas Stark

81′ GOAL! Germany 3-2 Turkey (Waldschmidt)
Gosens has time and space to cross from the left and does so accurately into Waldschmidt. The Benfica man controls before smashing home a clinical finish on the half-volley. His first senior international goal, and potentially the winner here tonight.

79′ Substitution: Florian Neuhaus is replaced by Mo Dahoud – a third debut this evening.

73′ A promising move from Germany breaks down when Jonas Hofmann’s through-ball into Havertz is slightly off-target.

70′ Substitution: Nico Schulz is replaced by Robin Gosens

67′ GOAL! Germany 2-2 Turkey (Efecan)
Well, a video assistant would probably have ruled that goal out for a foul, but there is no video assistant so Germany’s will just have to deal with it. Efecan shoves Neuhaus to win the ball, leaving him clean through on goal to fire past Leno. 

62′ One for the cameras! Günok flies through the air to punch away Julian Brandt’s effort. It was a good save, but he made it look more spectacular than it was … 

59′ Substitutions for Germany
Antonio Rüdiger is replaced by Jonathan Tah
Julian Draxler is replaced by Jonas Hofmann – another Borussia Mönchengladbach player makes his debut.

58′ GOAL! Germany 2-1 Turkey (Neuhaus)
A lovely goal! Can plays the ball forward to Waldschmidt on the edge of the box who cleverly flicks it on to Neuhaus. The Gladbach man plays a neat one-two with Havertz before finishing off past Günok for a debut goal! 

56′ Half-hearted German appeals for a penalty after Waldschmidt goes down under a hefty challenge in the box, but the Turkish defender won the ball fairly. 

53′ And Turkey almost take the lead! They play the ball quickly and vertically into Ünder who gets a shot away, and Leno has to get down quickly to save.

50′ GOAL! Germany 1-1 Turkey (Tufan)
Germany are caught out by Turkey’s high press, and captain Ozan Tufan makes them pay, getting a shot away on the turn on the edge of the box, which appeared to deflect off Brandt and over Leno. 

49′ A neat move from Germany sees Havertz forward the ball neatly on to Brandt who cuts inside but sees his shot blocked.

47′ Waldschmidt uses his body well to shield the ball in the box but can’t keep his shot down. 


We’re back underway in the second half. Ünder replaces Kilinc for Turkey. Germany unchanged

HT with Jonathan Harding:

And Lukas is in good company, because DW have a top pundit on hand as well. Here are Jonathan Harding’s thoughts, live from Köln:

HT with Lukas Podolski:

Broadcaster RTL have got the perfect pundit for tonight’s game. Lukas Podolski, currently with Turkish SuperLig side Antalyaspor, is a former German international and, of course, a legend in his home city of Cologne. His thoughts:

“Really well worked for the goal, Brandt into Havertz and a lovely finish from Draxler. Germany need more of that: move the ball quicker, get it forward quicker. Less horizontal passing, more vertical.”

45+1′ GOAL! Germany 1-0 Turkey (Draxler)
Germany win the ball on the halfway line and Julian Brandt immediately plays a vertical ball into Kai Havertz. The new Chelsea signing quickly moves the ball on to Julian Draxler and the Germany captain dinks the ball neatly over Günok with the final touch of the half.

43′ A Turkey free-kick from the right doesn’t make it past Schulz at the near post. Poor. 

41′ Close! Germany capitalize on sloppy play from Turkey and Brandt quickly finds Waldschmidt, whose stinging effort is tipped wide by Günok. Great save. Germany’s corner is cleared, but they win another … which is caught by Günok. 

38′ Lots of misplaced passes in the past few minutes which have taken some of the rhythm out of the game. Rüdiger the latest culprit, overhitting a pass to Schulz.

35′ Cologne, like many German cities, has a sizeable Turkish community, and it’s a handful of those supporters who are making their voices heard in Müngersdorf this evening.

31′ A good spell of Turkish possession results in a free-kick which is whipped dangerously into the box, but no attacking player can get a touch on the ball. Any connection there could have caused problems for Leno, but Germany survive.

26′ Havertz drives forward, finds Draxler in the box who lays off to Brandt, whose low shot is parried away by Günok. The first fast-paced combination from Germany this evening. 

23′ Draxler also goes into the book for a late lunge which catches his opponent’s ankle. A bit reckles from the captain and Turkey have a free-kick in a dangerous position … It is chipped into the box but Tufan can’t make contact.

21′ Emre Can crosses deep from the right and the ball comes to Nico Schulz, who fires into the side netting.

19′ Another chance for Turkey as Yazici finds space between the German midfield and defense and lets fly from distance. Leno gets down well to his right to save. A few early warning signs here for Germany.

18′ Rüdiger is booked for a late challenge on Efecan. The Chelsea man can’t really have any complaints about that. 

15′ Neuhaus’ long-range effort is well held by Günok, who German fans will see more of in this season’s Champions League where his Basaksehir team will face RB Leipzig.

13′ An even better chance for Turkey! A cross from the left makes it all the way to the back post where Yazici has time but blazes his shot over left-footed. Big gaps in the German defense there. 

12′ The initial cross is blocked in the six-yard box, as is the ferocious follow-up from Karaca. First real chance for the visitors.

11′ Turkey win a free-kick right on the edge of the box after Rüdiger fouls Karaca … 

10′ A neat reverse ball from Neuhaus finds Draxler in the box. The PSG man popping up everywhere in the opening minutes here, but he can’t retain possession.

6′ Draxler has the ball in the net, tucking away the rebound after the goalkeeper had parried Waldschmidt’s effort from Henrich’s cross, but the Germany captain was just offside. Well spotted by the referee’s assistant, with no VAR in place tonight.

3′ Cautious attacks from both sides in the opening few minutes. Both down their respective left wings, but both come to nothing.


We’re underway in Cologne. Almost 10,000 fans were expected to be present tonight but, due to rising COVID-19 rates in the city, only 300 are permitted.

Germans abroad: Koch & Waldschmidt

Chelsea duo Kai Havertz and Antonio Rüdiger need little introduction, and nor does captain Julian Draxler, but in Robin Koch (Leeds United) and Luca Waldschmidt (Benfica), Joachim Löw starts two former Freiburg players who have moved abroad at an early stage in their careers.

Central defender Koch (24) made 87 Bundesliga appearances for the Black Forest outfit before moving to newly-promoted Premier League side Leeds this summer. He got off to a tricky start in Yorkshire, giving away penalties in each of his first two games against Liverpool and Fulham, but has since settled down.

Striker Waldschmidt (24) was once considered Hamburg’s big hope before their relegation in 2018, before moving to Freiburg where he scored 16 goals in two seasons for Christian Streich’s team. He moved to Portuguese giants Benfica this summer and has already netted twice in three games.

Debutant: Florian Neuhaus

Borussia Mönchengladbach Florian Neuhaus has established himself as a key part of the Foals’ midfield over the last two Bundesliga seasons, contributing seven goals and 11 assists from the center of the park.

The 23-year-old played 90 minutes on this very pitch on Saturday in his team’s 3-1 victory over derby rivals Cologne.

Fußball Bundesliga Mönchengladbach - Mainz 05 (Getty Images/Bongarts/L. Baron)

Florian Neuhaus (center) celebrating a goal in the Bundesliga last season.

Bayern contingent rested

Champions League final, Bundesliga, UEFA Super Cup, German Super Cup, DFB Pokal … the Bayern Munich players’ calendars are even more jam packed than most. Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry are therefore all rested, as are the RB Leipzig players Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg.

Leroy Sané, Marc-André ter Stegen, Suat Serdar and Ilkay Gündogan also miss out with injuries, knocks or, in the latter’s case, coronavirus. Toni Kroos is also rested.

If there was ever a time for Germany’s second string to step up to the plate, this is it.

Germany team news: Draxler captain, debut for Neuhaus, Havertz starts

With the Nationalmannschaft playing the first of six games between now and the end of the year, and football’s corona-calendar busier than ever, Joachim Löw makes wholesale changes for tonight’s friendly against Turkey in Cologne.

Third-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno starts in goal, Florian Neuhaus of Borussia Mönchengladbach makes his international debut ahead of an unfamiliar back four, Julian Draxler captains the side while Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz and Luca Waldschmidt offer creativity up front.

Leno – Henrichs, Koch, Rüdiger, Schulz – Neuhaus, Can – Draxler (c), Brandt, Havertz – Waldschmidt 

“Time to stop talking about progress and actually make some!”

DW’s national team expert Jonathan Harding is in Cologne this evening. Here are his thoughts and expectations ahead of the game:


Fun fact: Strong record for Germany

Germany have won 14 of their previous 20 ties with Turkey, including each of the last thee encounters dating back to 2008. The last meeting between these sides came in 2011 when Germany won 3-1 with Mario Gomez, Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger on the scoresheet. Die Mannschaft’s only home defeat to date came in the very first fixture in 1951 with Hans Haferkamp’s equaliser not enough in a 2-1 loss in Berlin.

In the spotlight: Kai Havertz

After missing out in Germany’s last round of fixtures due to his impeding move to Chelsea, tonight Havertz has a chance to show why he could be Germany’s figurehead for years to come. Adding to his sole international goal against Argentina would be good place to start.

From the player’s mouth: Emre Can

“It’s up to me to make the national team head coach think: I need that lad in my side. That’s what I’m fighting for right now, nothing else is important. I know I have it in me to be a real leader on the pitch.”

In the spotlight: Debutants?

Last time around it was Robin Gosens, who won his first international caps for Germany. Tonight in Cologne, Mahmoud Dahoud of Borussia Dortmund and the Gladbach duo of Florian Neuhaus and Jonas Hofmann will be hoping for a chance to represent their nation for the very first time. Neuhaus may even start tonight if reports are to be believed.

Fun fact: Happy hunting ground

Germany have only lost two of their 26 matches in Cologne: 2-1 defeats against Spain in 1935 and the USA in 2015. The remaining 24 games have seen 18 wins and six draws, with 72 goals scored and 17 conceded. 

From the coaches’ mouth: Joachim Löw

“Since 2018, we have shown plenty of commitment in a lot of games, but there are some things that we need to work on. We haven’t seen out leads on a number of occasions. I will discuss this and try to address this in the few sessions we have.”

From the coaches’ mouth: Senol Günes

“I believe we’re capable of achieving a lot with this young and ambitious squad providing we’re given the time to do so. The talent and characters of our current crop is reminiscent of golden generations. I see a lot of similarities with the team from 2002.”

Fun fact: On the up under Günes

Since Senol Güneş took charge for his second spell as head coach, Turkey have lost just two of their last 14 games. That includes nine wins and three draws, with 22 goals scored and five conceded, but they have failed to score in their last two games. 

Possible line-up: Germany

Trapp – Can, Ginter, Rüdiger – Henrichs, Brandt, Neuhaus, Gosens – Amiri, Draxler – Havertz 

Possible line-up: Turkey

Günok – Celik, Söyüncü, Ayhan, Kaldirim – Tufan, Tekdemir – Yazici, Calhanoglu, Karaman – Yilmaz

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