Euro 2024 host Germany stumbled to a 1-0 loss against Poland in its international friendly on Friday to continue its disappointing run less than a year before it hosts the continental tournament.
Jakub Kiwior’s bouncing header snatched only the second victory for the host over the Germans in 90 years with Germany now having won only three of their last 10 international matches.
Four-time world champion Germany, who plays Colombia next week in its last international before the summer break, now has less than a year to build a battle-worthy team for its home Euros.
Following its disappointing first-round World Cup exit in Qatar last year, it has so far failed to show clear signs of recovery even though its second-half performance on Friday was improved from its opening 45 minutes.
It has managed just one win -- over Peru -- in its four matches since the World Cup.
“This match sort of sums up how we are at the moment,” said Germany defender Antonio Rudiger. “They score with one chance and we need more than that.”
“We are missing that bit of hunger, the final pass. Otherwise you end up losing such a game,” he added.
The Germans, who needed two late goals to rescue a 3-3 draw against Ukraine on Monday, were almost caught out when Jakub Blaszczykowski chased down a deep cross but Malick Thiaw’s well-timed tackle denied the 37-year-old at the edge of the box.
The host kept breaking through the shaky German backline with Jakub Kaminski’s shot form a tight angle saved by keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
He was beaten in the 31st when Kiwior’s glancing header bounced off the ground first and then floated past Ter Stegen who got a hand to the ball but could not push it wide.
The Germans looked sharper in the second half and piled on the pressure right after the restart, threatening with Robin Gosens before Joshua Kimmich saw his effort bounce off the crossbar four minutes after the restart.
Thiaw, making his Germany debut, got close to an equaliser with a fine turn and shot in the box but keeper Wojciech Szczesny produced his best moment of the night to block it.
Germany had a string of late chances but could not find an equaliser that would alleviate some of the pressure they and coach Hansi Flick will now face on their return.
“I had hoped we could celebrate a success in order to change the mood and get the country behind us,” said Gosens, whose pace on the wing in the second half did Germany well.
“We all know that can only happen with results and wins. We played a good second half but it is time we start getting rewarded for it.”
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