Substitute Niclas Fullkrug scored a late equaliser for Germany as they rescued a draw with Switzerland to top Group A.

The Swiss thought they were going through to the last 16 as group winners after an early goal from Dan Ndoye until Fullkrug headed in the equaliser.

There was an outburst of celebration from home supporters behind the goal as Germany maintained their unbeaten start to Euro 2024.

It was a blow to Switzerland, who had defended resolutely for more than 90 minutes but they still progress to the knockout stages.

“At the end I think this point is well deserved. We risked a lot, as we could have conceded a second goal,” said Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann.

“It was a very strong group and a very good match. I think if we had scored that first goal, it would have been very difficult for Switzerland.”

Murat Yakin’s Swiss side knew victory would see them leapfrog Germany and they almost delivered in Frankfurt until pressure took its toll in stoppage time.

Germany, who had largely frustrated the home fans in the stands, created a flurry of chances late on and eventually did enough.

Earlier, Swiss fans were bouncing and singing in the stands after Ndoye had placed a first-time shot into the roof of the net from Remo Freuler’s dangerous cross.

Ndoye also had a goal ruled out for offside in the second half that would have made it 2-0 – the second to be crossed off after the video assistant referee (VAR) intervened for Germany’s Robert Andrich.

Andrich curled a shot from the edge of the box under the arms of goalkeeper Yann Sommer, whose blushes were saved when referee Daniele Orsato overturned his decision after going to the pitchside monitor to see a foul from Jamal Musiala in the build-up.

Germany had lacked the ruthlessness they had shown in their opening two victories of the tournament but high hopes remain that they can go all the way in the competition.
By winning Group A, Germany face the team that finishes second in England’s group next Saturday.

Germany underwhelm but get the job done

Nagelsmann named the same Germany side for the third match running and it appeared to take its toll as his players lacked energy and creativity.

It was often too easy for Switzerland to implement their gameplan as they stayed compact and organised while Germany probed but struggled to break them down.

Ndoye’s clinical finish – against the run of play – gave Switzerland a huge confidence boost and they started to threaten more on the break, while Germany grew frustrated.

It was the Swiss fans making the noise at half-time as the players went down the tunnel with blotches of red still visible on the pitch, left by objects thrown in celebration.

Germany’s response took a while to arrive as they were wasteful and impatient, resulting in countless shots from outside the box flying over the bar.

Kai Havertz headed over the bar twice and Ilkay Gundogan sliced a shot wide before Fullkrug finally broke the Swiss resistance.

“It’s always important to have players on the bench who can change games,” said Germany manager Nagelsmann.

“We have players who can come in off the bench who are different. We need every player. They can be important for us in every situation.

“[Fullkrug] gives a good argument for both jobs – coming from the starting XI and off the bench. It’s good luck and bad luck for him that he is so good in that role.”

While this performance might humble Germany, they remain one of the favourites to lift the trophy in Berlin and showed character to find the goal they needed to help their route to the final become easier.

For Switzerland, it was another step in the right direction as they continue to make strides under Yakin and they have now progressed from the group stage in their past three Euros appearances.

“I am very proud of the performance but it’s rather sad for the team that we could not take the victory home,” said Yakin.

“But there was a lot of pressure from the Germans so we can say we take the draw. I am happy we didn’t take a defeat.

“It wasn’t enough for first place [in the group] but I think the next opponent also has to watch out for us. We can be very happy.”

BBC

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