Germany beaten by Slovakia and the weather in wet and soggy Augsburg

As expected, there is an experimental look to the starting eleven for the first of the Mannschaft’s final two pre-Euros warm-up matches against fellow tournament finalists Slovakia in Augsburg. It is Germany’s first meeting against the Repre for almost a decade, the last coming in June 2007 – a Euro 2008 qualifying match in Hamburg that saw Jogi Löw’s side claim a 2-1 win.

There are two debutants in Bayer 04 Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno and FC Bayern München youngster Joshua Kimmich, while Schalke 04 starlet Leroy Sané wins his second cap. There is some experience however in the form of central defender Jérôme Boateng and in-form striker Mario Gómez, while Mario Götze also gets a starting spot. There is also a debut for Augsburg’s WWK-Arena, which becomes the 35th ground to host an international fixture in the post-war era.

With regular skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger and Manuel Neuer both rested, Sami Khedira takes the captain’s armband. It is an dark and overcast afternoon in Bavaria, and the home side take to the field in their away colours of grey shirts with khaki trim, off-white shorts and socks. Their opponents are in a more conventional all-blue ensemble.

1 min. The visitors kick off.

2 mins. Germany has started well, and win a free kick out on the right. Götze swings it in, but the ball is put behind for a corner.

3 mins. The corner is delivered into the Slovak box, and the defending is all over the place. The ball falls to Boatend, whose attempt on the half-volley flies narrowly over the crossbar.

7 mins. A lovely little jinking run from Gómez, who works his way into the Slovak penalty area before firing an angled shot. ‘Keeper Matúš Kozáčik gets a hand to it, and Julian Draxler is unable to get a shot at goal.

11 mins. Germany win another corner, and Götze’s kick is cleared only as far as Sané. The youngster finds Götze, who looks to get away from Juraj Kucka before being felled by the Slovak midfielder. Belgian referee Serge Gumienny has no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.

12 mins. Gómez steps up to take the kick, and slams it hard to Kozáčik’s left. He slips slightly, but the ball is well hit and too well placed. 1-0.

Mario Gómez slots home from the penalty spot to give Germany the lead

14 mins. Sebastian Rudy finds space down the right, and sends in a lovely cross with as Sané advances towards the box. The Schalke winger is just unable to get a crucial touch on the stretch, and Kozáčik collects.

18 mins. A bustling from from Draxler sees the ball shifted at pace into the opposition half, but Götze is unable to continue the move. Germany are well on top, looking confident, and playing at a fantastic tempo. Slovakia have barely had a sniff so far.

19 mins. There’s a lovely little one-two between Draxler and Jonas Hector, but the 1. FC Köln left-back’s touch is just a little too heavy as he bears down on goal.

21 mins. The visitors make a rare foray into the German half, and Kucka’s effort is speculative at best as skids well wide of the target.

24 mins. The Slovaks get a little bit of possession, and Ondrej Duda gets in a shot that flies high over the German crossbar.

27 mins. A smart through-ball from Sané finds Hector, whose misplaced cross is turned behind by Kozáčik. The corner comes to nothing and Slovakia clear their lines.

29 mins. A Slovak move breaks down, and the home side break fast down the middle. Gómez finds Sané via a flailing defender’s boot, and the youngster’s low shot is well parried by Kozáčik.

32 mins. Out of nothing, Germany create a fantastic opportunity. Khedira dinks the ball delightfully into the Slovak penalty area towards the unmarked Draxler, but the VfL Wolfsburg man is unable to keep his shot down as he takes it on the volley. For a player of his skill and ability, that should have been 2-0.

33 mins. Another fast German break with Draxler right in the middle of it, but Rudy’s attempted return pass back into the box is intercepted and cleared.

35 mins. Slovakia almost snatch an equaliser as the German defence are picked open, but Rudy does brilliantly to cleanly take the ball away from Dušan Švento just as he is about to pull the trigger.

39 mins. There’s a bit more balance to the game now, with Slovakia keeping possession for longer periods inside the German half.

40 mins. You could sense something was afoot, and Slovakia make the most of what has been their best spell of the match. Marek Hamšík has the ball just outside the German penalty area, and unleashes a stunning right-footed effort from some twenty-five yards that flies into the top right-hand corner. Boateng turns his back on the shot, and the ball is in the back of the net. Leno in the German goal has no chance. 1-1.

43 mins. There are a few all too familiar wobbles in the German defence now, and another sharp incursion into the German box from Patrik Hrošovský results in Rudy nodding the ball behind for a corner.

44 mins. The corner is swung in beautifully by Vladimír Weiss, and Michal Ďuriš is left unimpeded to power a header past Leno. Could the German ‘keeper have done better? It matters not, as Slovakia take a shock lead. 1-2.

45 mins. A storm is brewing in Augsburg, both above and on the pitch. Half-time arrives accompanied by some interference with the television reception, and having bossed the match Jogi Löw and his side have plenty of thinking to do at half-time.

The moral of the story is “take your chances”. While Germany were looking comfortable in front, they created plenty of opportunities to add to their lead. Meanwhile at the other end two Slovak chances have produced two goals. While the first was arguably unstoppable, the second was the result a defensive frailty that has become a familiar feature if German teams in recent years.

Meanwhile, the heavens have opened.

HT +5 mins. There has been a sudden burst of heavy rain and hailstones, and the two teams wait patiently while the referee is out in the middle checking the pitch surface. The Nationaltrainer is talking to officials, and the fear is of the storm and the threat of lightning strikes rather than the pouring rain.

HT +10 mins. While the thunder rumbles around and the lightning flashes, Singin’ in the rain is being piped through the tannoy system.

HT +20 mins. Jogi Löw takes a peek outside, the Slovak players are playing keepy-uppy in the waiting area by the tunnel, and the clouds are blacker than ever. The surface is completely saturated now, and the referee steps out for another quick look at the pitch.

The rain hammers down in Augsburg

HT +22 mins. There are a couple of the bench players out on the pitch now, and it looks like the two teams are getting ready. Finally, they reemerge to loud cheers from the crowd. There is going to be at least one change for Germany, as Jérôme Boateng is wearing the captain’s armband during what is a brief warmup.

46 mins. The second half gets underway. The show goes on, and this game won’t became the first Germany fixture to be abandoned since a friendly against Hungary back in November 1978. There are three changes for the Nationalmannschaft, with Leno, Khedira and Gómez making way for Marc-André ter Stegen and other two of Germany’s three Julians, Julian Weigl and Julian Brandt.

47 mins. Draxler gets a shot on goal, which goes behind for a corner. The surface is not great, and all of the players are finding it hard to keep control of the ball.

52 mins. It doesn’t rain, it pours. Yes, the surface of the pitch is horrible, but ter Stegen makes a horrible hash of Kucka’s shot after another Slovak corner. Rather than collecting the ball, he allows it to squirm right through him. This is fast turning into a nightmare for Löw’s men. 1-3.

54 mins. Draxler fires a low skidding shot which is clearly turned behind by Kozáčik, but the officials don’t see the obvious deflection and award a goal-kick to Slovakia.

58 mins. There are a few boos and whistles from the crowd now, and it is just a little bit farcical now.

60 mins. A golden opportunity for Hamšík to make it four as the German defence again goes AWOL, but the Napoli man is unable to keep his footing and scramble through the puddles with the goal at his mercy. Ter Stegen would have had no chance, but gratefully collects.

64 mins. Ter Stegen gives the ball away, Slovakia attack again, and Kucka is unlucky to be flagged offside. There’s another change for Germany, with Boateng making way for Benedikt Höwedes. It is the Schalke man’s first appearance in the Nationaltrikot for fourteen months.

65 mins. Götze charges into the opposition box and wins a corner, but Draxler’s Eckball is cleared away easily by the men in blue.

68 mins. A second change for the Slovaks. Stanislav Šesták is on for Ďuriš.

74 mins. Götze tries a dance in the Slovakian penalty area, but gets nowhere. Rudy’s cross is headed behind by Slovak skipper Martin Škrtel, but once again the corner comes to nothing.

75 mins. Joshua Kimmich’s debut comes to an end, and he is replaced by André Schürrle.

78 mins. Another change for the Ján Kozák’s men, with Milan Škriniar coming on for Hrošovský.

81 mins. A Schürrle effort is blocked by Škrtel. There’s another substitution for Slovakia, with the excellent Kucka making way for Viktor Pečovský.

82 mins. Brandt makes his way into the opposition penalty are down the left, and finds Götze whose well-timed low shot skids just wide of the far post.

83 mins. Sané shows great skill and Germany win another corner, but Götze’s overhit kick floats harmlessly over the danger area.

85 mins. The man who started Slovakia’s first-half recovery is the next man to head off the pitch. The excellent Hamšík is replaced by Ján Greguš.

87 mins. Götze goes down in the box, but the referee waves play on. Götze was clearly clipped there and he looked to slips past his marker, and it just sums up Germany’s afternoon.

88 mins. Brandt sets up Schürrle, who sends his effort high and wide of the target.

90 mins. Slovakia launch another attack, and Höwedes slides spectacularly to put the ball behind for a corner which comes to nothing. There will be three more minutes in what has been a pretty forgettable game.

90+1 mins. Stoch has a shot from distance which flies high over the German crossbar.

90+3 mins. The final whistle blows.

So, it’s business as usual for Germany in friendly warm-ups as a great start ends in a soggy mess. There were plenty of positives to take from the opening forty minutes which could and arguably should have seen the Mannschaft away and clear, but a combination of defensive mistakes, apocalyptic weather and a goalkeeping blunder would give their understated opponents a moral-boosting win ahead of the upcoming Euros.

Given the second-string lineup (with four debutants featuring) and weather conditions that made the pitch almost unplayable, this is a match that should really be written off as a very bad day in a very wet office – but questions will remain as the coach looks to name his final squad of twenty-three for next month’s tournament in France.

Leroy Sané certainly did himself and his prospects no harm with an encouraging performance, and Julian Brandt – seen by many as out of the four likely to miss out on making the final cut – also made a decent impression after coming on as a second half substitute.

One can only hope for a better overall showing – and better weather – when Jogi’s Jungs take on Hungary in Gelsenkirchen in their final warm-up.

v Slovakia, WWK-Arena, Augsburg, 29.05.2016

1-3 (1-2)
Gómez pen 12. / Hamšík 40., Ďuriš 44., Kucka 52.

Germany: Leno* (46. ter Stegen) – Rudy, Boateng (64. Höwedes), Rüdiger, Hector – Kimmich* (75. Schürrle), Khedira (c) (46. Weigl*) – Sané, Götze, Draxler – Gómez (46. Brandt*)

Slovakia: Kozáčik – Pekarík, Škrtel (c), Ďurica, Švento – Kucka (81. Pečovský), Duda (61. Stoch) – Hrošovský (78. Škriniar), Hamšík (85. Greguš), Weiss – Ďuriš (68. Šesták)

Referee: Serge Gumienny (Belgium)
Assistants: Jimmy Cremers (Belgium), Thibaud Nijssen (Belgium)
Fourth Official: Bart Vertenten (Belgium)

Yellow Cards: – / –
Red Cards: – / –

Ball Possession: 50% / 50%
Attempts on Target: 7 / 4
Attempts off Target: 5 / 4
Corners: 10 / 5
Fouls Committed: 6 / 7

Attendance: 22,100

* International Debut

Germany beaten by Slovakia and the weather in wet and soggy Augsburg

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