Germany Left to Rue Missed Chances Against Spain

Spain beat Germany 2-1 in a pulsating quarterfinal clash in Stuttgart on Friday to book a place in the last four of UEFA EURO 2024. Dani Olmo and Mikel Merino scored for the Spaniards, while Florian Wirtz responded for the Germans.

Germany equalized in the 89th minute to take the match into extra-time, but could not recover after Spain scored in the 119th minute. They did not have enough time to respond to Moreno’s hammer-blow.

Missed Chances Galore for Germany

Germany once again opted to start with Kai Havertz upfront, Leroy Sané started on the right wing and Wirtz on the bench. However, Havertz failed to deliver once more and never looked like scoring from open play.

He hit a free header straight to Unai Simón in Spain’s goal in the first half. Havertz also saw his left-footed chip go over the bar in the second half after Simón had come forward. The attacker’s touches in the final third were elegant, but marked with a clear indecisiveness.

Niclas Füllkrug, who came in as a substitute in the second half and played alongside Havertz in Germany’s 3-5-2, also got a few clear chances to score a goal. He was only able to hit the bar on one occasion, which was not enough for the hosts.

Joshua Kimmich had a fine match, always threatening with his overlaps and also registering an assist with a header. Despite this moment of magic, it was not before Thomas Müller was introduced and Germany switched to a 3-4-3 that made the hosts start to look really dangerous.

Müller, playing in his 131st international match for Germany, provided width through the left and also played a few incisive crosses to Füllkrug and Wirtz, the latter coming in as the right winger.

German Midfield Struggles and Olmo Brilliance

It was a poor tackle by Toni Kroos, playing in what would be his last match as a professional footballer, that led to Spain’s second goal. Kroos was seen struggling against a team of Spain’s calibre in a defensive role at times and also earned a yellow card for stopping Dani Olmo’s run with a shirt tug.

Olmo’s introduction in place of an injured Pedri turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Spaniards. Olmo played in a more advanced role than Pedri would have and was the main reason behind Spain’s victory. He scored the first goal with a neat shot from the edge of the box and his measured cross helped Merino score the winner. His introduction made Spain play in a 4-2-3-1 with Olmo as the No. 10, instead of their usual 4-3-3. Later in the match, Olmo switched to his preferred left flank.

The Germans pressed high temporarily in the first half, but then resorted to playing off a low block, allowing Spain to play passes freely inside their own half. It continued until Olmo scored, after which the Germans started attacking with a lot of vigour. Prior to Olmo’s strike, Robert Andrich should have put his body on the line to block the shot. It is something that Dani Carvajal frequently did for the Spaniards.

Overall, it remains a pity that one of the arguably two best teams in the tournament had to go out in the quarterfinal. This thrilling clash could have easily been the final.

Related articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share article

Latest articles