Cologne (dpa) – Bernd Leno, beaten for the third time in injury time, waved to the few fans in frustration – his colleagues angrily demolished the square. And national coach Joachim Löw was “eaten”.
Exactly what had happened to the established forces several times before had happened to the young German national team, which had been newly formed in many positions. Again, the DFB squad failed to turn a lead into a win. In the 3: 3 (1: 0) against Turkey in Cologne, the national team even led three times.
“Again at the last minute, that’s why you are now disappointed and pissed off”, Löw said at RTL. “That’s a problem that accompanies us.” Interim captain Julian Draxler (45th + 1), debutant Florian Neuhaus (58th) and Luca Waldschmidt (81st) had repeatedly given the hosts the lead. The Turkish captain Ozan Tufan (49th), Efecan Karaca (67th) and the Düsseldorf professional Kenan Karaman (90th + 4) took care of the draw for the guests.
“We have invited the Turks to score,” said Draxler. “It starts before that. If you lead 2-1, you have to play it more confidently. We didn’t make it, it’s disappointing.”
Without the entire Bayern block and other permanent staff, the young German team had many good scenes. Chelsea professional Kai Havertz prepared two goals. But the cruel guests rebuked negligence in defense. The first win in 2020 should finally succeed against Switzerland in the upcoming Nations League matches on Saturday in Ukraine and three days later in Cologne.
Löw led his newly formed team in black turtlenecks from the sidelines. In the opposite gallery sat the only 300 admitted fans who, with a few flags and a few chants, could hardly offer more than a ghost game atmosphere. The DFB originally wanted to distribute 9,200 free tickets. But the development of the corona figures in the region did not allow that. “An absolute shame”, said Loew before the kick-off at RTL.
The national team manager expected “no miracles” from his professionals – the DFB-Elf, led by Draxler as captain, showed great commitment at the start of the marathon week and improved in the second half. Even though the lack of communal game practice was already clearly visible after one training. Small mistakes in the offensive and in the coordination of the three-man defense chain hindered the flow of the game almost as expected.
As in the two draws in Switzerland and against Spain at the start of the Nations League, Low tried to push his game idea behind a single point with high pressure and a lot of creativity. Waldschmidt as a striker failed twice in the first half against Turkish goalkeeper Mert Günok (6th / 41st), who was also there when Julian Brandt shot (25th).
Draxler met after a fine combination via Brandt and Chelsea’s 100 million man Havertz, who initially seemed inhibited, but then decisively initiated the opening goal. Draxler celebrated his seventh goal in the 54th international match for empty rows – his first in three years. Havertz also cleverly set in motion the second leading goal from the striking debutante Neuhaus, the 108th newcomer to the Low era. Nearly ten minutes before the end, Waldschmidt made a powerful left foot shot for the third German goal.
Against two strong Turks, Löw called the two fullbacks Benjamin Henrichs and Nico Schulz, who hit the side net over and over again in the 21st minute – but that led to problems with the defense. Coach Senol Günes’s guests, who started with six German-born players in the roster, kept under high pressure and often exposed the weaknesses of the DFB defense.
Yusuf Yazici was threateningly free for the shot, which he missed (13th), and then tested Bernd Leno with a long shot (19th). Tufan scored shortly after the break with a strong long shot to equalize. Karaca’s 2: 2 was preceded by a bump from the goalscorer against Neuhaus in the German penalty area, but referee Benoit Bastien did not take the penalty. Substitute Karaman hit the bar (87th).
“I can’t expect everything to work after a workout,” Löw had said as a precaution. For the games in the Nations League, the national coach wants to put together his selection of 23 men from the 28 invited players on Thursday. Neuhaus advised himself with his goal and considered play in midfield. His Mönchengladbach teammate Jonas Hofmann made his debut after just under an hour and Mahmoud Dahoud entered the final phase as the 110th Löw newcomer.