Germany advances to last 16 with 2-0 win over Hungary, Albania snatches late draw with Croatia

59

20th June 2024 – (Berlin) Germany secured their place in the last 16 of Euro 2024 with a resounding 2-0 victory over Hungary, while Albania fought back in the dying minutes to secure a 2-2 draw against Croatia in the second round of group stage matches on Wednesday.

Hungary started the game strongly and had an excellent opportunity to take the lead within the first minute. However, Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came to the rescue by intercepting Joshua Kimmich’s misplaced pass ahead of Rolland Sallai.

Germany came close to scoring in the 10th minute when Kai Havertz skillfully manoeuvred through Hungary’s defence and tested goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi from a promising position.

Gulacsi’s luck ran out ten minutes later when Willi Orban fumbled the ball inside his own box, allowing Ilkay Gundogan to set up Jamal Musiala, who calmly finished the chance. Musiala became the first player to score two goals at Euro 2024.

Hungary pressed relentlessly in search of an equalizer, but Neuer denied Dominik Szoboszlai’s free kick in the 30th minute, followed by a crucial block from Germany defender Jonathan Tah to stop another dangerous effort from the striker.

Hungary thought they had equalized just before halftime, but VAR ruled Sallai’s goal offside.

In the second half, Germany maintained control, although Hungary continued to pose a threat. Barnabas Varga came close to scoring in the 60th minute with a header that narrowly missed the target.

Germany sealed their victory in the 67th minute when Maximilian Mittelstadt delivered a precise pass into the box, finding Gundogan, who calmly tapped the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead.

Julian Nagelsmann, the manager of the German team, praised his players’ stability in the match, saying, “On this level, you must remain stable. Hungary is a very uncomfortable opponent, but we remained stable in most situations. You must win a match like this first, and we managed to do that.”

With this win, Germany sits at the top of Group A with two wins out of two matches. They are followed by Switzerland, Scotland, and Hungary.

In another Group A encounter, Switzerland secured a 1-1 draw against Scotland thanks to Xherdan Shaqiri’s powerful strike into the top left corner.

In Group B, Albania caused an upset by holding Croatia to a thrilling 2-2 draw. Albania took the lead through Qazim Laci, but Andrej Kramaric equalized for Croatia. An own goal by Klaus Gjasula gave Croatia the advantage, but Gjasula redeemed himself by scoring the equalizer in injury time.