Euro 2024: Fullkrug’s stoppage time equaliser helps Germany top Group A over Switzerland

Switzerland was about to end its group stage standings on top however Niklas Fullkrug scored a stoppage time equaliser, two minutes past regulation time to draw the game.

Published : Jun 24, 2024 02:29 IST , Frankfurt - 3 MINS READ

Germany’s Niclas Fullkrug celebrates.
Germany’s Niclas Fullkrug celebrates. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Germany’s Niclas Fullkrug celebrates. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

A stoppage-time header from Niclas Fullkrug has rescued a 1-1 draw for Germany against Switzerland on Sunday in Frankfurt, ensuring the Euro host finish top of Group A.

The Swiss hit the lead early, Dan Ndoye booting in from close range after 28 minutes to stun the home side.

Germany took a series of risks late in the hope of an equaliser and veteran striker Fuellkrug delivered, heading home in the second minute of stoppage time.

The result means Switzerland, rather than Germany, faces a tougher last 16 opponent, setting up a potential meeting with holders Italy or 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.

The Germans look set to face second place in England’s Group C, which is currently Denmark.

Heading into the match the host was optimistic it had turned the corner after almost a decade of disappointment at major tournaments, with two World Cup group stage exits bookending a Euros last 16 elimination.

Led by an experienced midfield featuring captain Ilkay Gundogan and Toni Kroos, Germany beat both Scotland and Hungary in its first two Euros matches to give the host hope of a deep run in the tournament.

The host was however caught off guard by Switzerland’s energy and failed to carve out many clear-cut chances against a dogged Swiss defence.

Despite Fullkrug’s late rescue effort, Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann will have plenty to ponder after the stodgy performance.

Despite having already qualified for the last 16, Nagelsmann decided to play the same starting XI for the third straight game.

It was a decision he may regret when defender Jonathan Tah saw yellow, his second in the group stage, meaning he will miss Germany’s first knockout game.

Pushed on by an optimistic and partisan home ground, Germany started brightly, carving out some half-chances after launching long balls over Switzerland’s midfield press.

ALSO READ | Euro 2024: Kevin Csoboth scores stoppage-time winner to help Hungary beat Scotland 1-0

Robert Andrich looked to have given Germany the lead after 16 minutes when Yann Sommer made a meal of his long-range strike, which bounced past the goalkeeper and into the net.

The goal was however overturned with VAR finding Jamal Musiala had committed a foul in the lead-up.

The Swiss had been on the back foot early but took the lead on the 28-minute mark, taking advantage of some sloppy play from Musiala and Joshua Kimmich.

Musiala lost the ball in his own half, sending Switzerland on the break. Kimmich won but then let go of possession, allowing Remo Freuler to find Ndoye who stuck out a leg and booted the ball into the net.

It was the first time the host had trailed this tournament and the goal seemed to rattle Germany, which was increasingly hesitant in closing out the first half.

Germany went on the attack in the second half as Nagelsmann made several offensive changes but the host had few clear chances against a Swiss side doggedly protecting its lead.

Man City defender Manuel Akanji stretched out to block Kimmich at point-black range with 20 minutes remaining.

Nagelsmann brought Fullkrug from the bench with 14 minutes remaining and the Borussia Dortmund striker stepped up to the plate, heading in a cross from David Raum to send Germany back to the top of the group.

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