Gündoğan fires Germany to win against brave Scotland

It’s a bright evening in Glasgow, with Germany looking to put themselves one step closer to securing top spot in the group and with it a guaranteed place in next year’s Euro 2016 finals in France. It is exactly a year after the last meeting between the two teams in Dortmund, which finished in a tighter than expected 2-1 win for the Nationalmannschaft.

It’s the eighth competitive meeting between the two teams, with the Nationalmannschaft yet to suffer a defeat. While Joachim Löw’s men will be looking to cement their position at the top of the table, Scotland will hope to get their campaign back on the rails following a disappointing 1-0 defeat in Georgia.

There is one change to the German team that beat Poland 3-1 four days earlier, with İlkay Gündoğan rewarded for his fine showing with a start in place of Karim Bellarabi.

The Nationalhymne is greeting with silent respect by the home crowd, while there is something a little different for the home side with “Flower of Scotland” played by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

1 min. Germany, all in white, get things underway. The hosts are in an all-navy blue outfit.

5 mins. The visitors have started well, and are moving the ball around nicely.

10 mins. The home side are finding it hard to spend any time on the ball, as the men in all white continue to boss the possession and patiently wait for a chance to strike.

11 mins. Scotland briefly threaten to launch an attack, but right-back Emre Can foils Scott Brown with a firm challenge.

17 mins. There’s plenty of good control and intricate play from the German side here, but no real chances as Scotland are holding together well at the back. It’s like Teutonic Tiki-Taka here.

18 mins. The patience bears fruit, but it’s in all honesty not pretty. Thomas Müller collects the ball from Toni Kroos at the edge of the Scottish penalty area and has a speculative shot, which takes a nasty deflection off Russell Martin before slipping past helpless ‘keeper David Marshall. It’s Müller’s seventh goal of the campaign, and the Mannschaft are in front. 1-0.

Thomas Müller celebrates Germany’s opening goal after just eighteen minutes

23 mins. A rare lapse in concentration from Müller as he fails to collect a straight forward ball from Gündoğan. Save that for the memory bank.

24 mins. Scotland are showing a little more in the middle of the pitch now, and they have to. Fun fact: in the last seventy games in which Germany have taken the lead, they have won 65 and drawn 5.

26 mins. There’s some great interplay between Gündoğan, Müller and Mario Götze, but Götze is flagged offside.

28 mins. Charlie Mulgrew wins a free-kick right at the edge of the box aften being grappled by Can. The free-kick is swung into the box and takes a wicked bounce in front of Manuel Neuer, who can only parry it straight at the chest of Mats Hummels. Both the centre-back and ‘keeper are left helpless as the ball rolls almost apologetically into the back of the German net. Neuer should have done better there. 1-1.

34 mins. Germany are again looking strong, and Mesut Özil opens up the Scottish defence with a horizontal ball across the box to Can. The right-back unleashes a right-footed effort that is just about kept out by Marshall, and the inevitable Müller is on hand to steer it towards the goal with his head. The ball is booted out by a defender, but it’s well over the line. A typically beautifully ugly finish from Der Raumdeuter, and Germany are back in front. 2-1.

Müller stoops brilliantly to nod in the Mannschaft’s second after Emre Can’s effort was parried by ‘keeper David Marshall

38 mins. Another beautiful move. Skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger finds Gündoğan out on the left, whose cross is well collected and finished with a swivelled flourish by Götze. Unfortuneately, the FC Bayern man is a good couple of yards offside.

42 mins. Martin comes in brilliantly to block another Götze effort, but the whistle is blown for a handball anyway.

43 mins. Mulgrew and Sean Maloney combine well down the left, and Scotland win a corner. The ball is initially cleared, but falls to James McArthur who strokes it in on the half-volley. Neuer is slightly out of position and manages to get a hand on the ball, but cannot keep it out. This has been an amazing game, but Neuer is clearly having an off night between the sticks. 2-2.

45 mins. Germany win a corner which comes to nothing. The whistle is blown for half-time.

What a crazy forty-five minutes. Two scrappy goals for Thomas Müller, and two slightly off moments from Manuel Neuer as Germany are twice undone facing set-pieces. According to the match commentators, Germany have had 78% possession and have made 300 passes more than the Scots. Alas, to win football matches you need to score goals.

46 mins. Scotland kick off the second half.

47 mins. The German passing machine kicks into action again, and Götze almost dances through the Scottish defence.

49 mins. There’s a bit of a scramble in the Scottish box, but no opportunity to get a decent shot at goal. Plenty of passing and movement.

50 mins. Götze has the ball in the back of the net again as he nods in Gündoğan’s well placed cross, but is narrowly offside.

54 mins. A beautiful move. Can shows good strength to win and hold the ball deep in the Scottish half, and finds Müller who does brilliantly to send a sharp low cross into the box. Gündoğan meets it with a smart left-footed finish, which beats Marshall before hitting the inside of the right post on its way into the net. 3-2.

İlkay Gündoğan strokes home the winning goal with a stylish left-footed finish

55 mins. James Morrison is booked for a foul on Schweinsteiger.

56 mins. Morrison is in with a very late challenge in Schweinsteiger, and is slightly lucky to escape a second yellow card.

58 mins. Maloney joins Morrison in the referee’s notebook.

60 mins. Scottish coach Gordon Strachan makes his first change as he sends on Ikechi Anya on for Maloney.

62 mins. Müller wins the ball brilliantly out on the right, and rolls it inside to Götze. Unable to find a shooting chance, Götze lays it back for Schweinsteiger who unleashes a blockbuster that is well parried by Marshall.

66 mins. Scotland have nothing to lose now, and are sending men forward with a little more purpose. Alan Hutton gets a shot in, but can only find the side netting.

68 mins. Some strange defending from Hummels, whose attempted horizontal pass in front of his own penalty area is almost intercepted.

69 mins. A long ball is sent into the German box towards Steven Fletcher, but Jérôme Boateng times his header perfectly to intercept and clear the danger.

72 mins. Özil finds Jonas Hector out on the left, but the left-back is unable to get any bend on his cross and Marshall collects.

75 mins. Germany are playing with Scotland like a cat with a ball of wool here. Morrison is late on Schweinsteiger again. Scotland sweep up to the other end, and Boateng does brilliantly to get in front of Anya. Neuer cleans up.

79 mins. Scotland win a free kick some twenty-five yards out after Hutton is brought down by Toni Kroos, and Mulgrew’s effort is smacked straight against the German wall.

80 mins. A double change for Scotland, as Matt Ritchie and Chris Martin come on for James Forrest and Scott Brown.

83 mins. Fletcher is in front of goal and has half a chance, but can only scuff his shot.It;s moot anyway, as the flag is raised for offside.

84 mins. Müller slips a crisp pass inside to Götze who tees up Gündoğan, whose cracking right-footed shot is brilliantly saved by Marshall.

85 mins. Gündoğan and Götze play a brilliant one-two, but Götze can only send his shot over the bar.

86 mins. Unable to make his mark on this game, Götze makes way for André Schürrle. Two offside goals, and another decent display by the FC Bayern man.

89 mins. Chris Martin is fouled by Boateng some thirty yards from goal, but Ritchie’s free-kick is cleared.

90+1 mins. The home crowd are getting behind their team as the game ticks towards the close, and Jogo Löw makes a late time-nibbling change as Christoph Kramer comes on for Özil.

90+3 mins. Scotland win a corner as the game ticks into a third minute of injury time, and Ritchie’s kick is firmly cleared. The Mannschaft have quelled a brave Scottish challenge, as the final whistle is blown.

There are loud cheers for both teams, and mutual applause from both sets of fans, at the end of an pulsating encounter. Germany had the class, bossed the possession and created the most chances, but Scotland gave as good as they got in their efforts to keep their hopes of Euro qualification alive. With Poland beating Gibraltar 8-1 and the Republic of Ireland edging Georgia 1-0 the brave Scots are now in fourth place, needing next to a miracle to finish in third and claim a place in the play-offs.

Jogi Löw’s men meanwhile have one foot in the finals, and just need a point from their two remaining games next month against the Irish and Georgia.

v Scotland, Hampden Park, Glasgow, 07.09.2015

3-2 (2-2)
Müller 18., 34., Gündoğan 54. / Hummels og 28., McArthur 43.

Germany: Neuer – Can, Boateng, Hummels, Hector – Schweinsteiger (c), Kroos – Müller, Gündoğan, Özil (90.+2. Kramer) – Götze (86. Schürrle)

Scotland: Marshall – Hutton, R. Martin, Hanley, Mulgrew – McArthur, Brown (c) (80. C. Martin) – Maloney (Anya 60.), Morrison, Forrest (80. Ritchie) – Fletcher

Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
Assistants: Sander van Roekel (Netherlands), Erwin Zeinstra (Netherlands)
Goal Line Assistants: Pol van Boekel (Netherlands), Richard Liesveld (Netherlands)
Fourth Official: Charles Schaap (Netherlands)

Yellow Cards: – / Morrison, Mulgrew
Red Cards: – / –

Ball Possession: 70% / 30%
Attempts on Target: 7 / 3
Attempts off Target: 6 / 1
Corners: 2 / 2
Fouls Committed: 14 / 7

Attendance: 52,000

Gündoğan fires Germany to win against brave Scotland

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