Kimmich's wonder strike saves Germany at Denmark Debutante Ball

As Joachim Löw’s German side look to gather momentum before the impending Confederations Cup in Russia, proceedings get underway with this evening’s friendly in Brøndby against northern neighbours Denmark. It is the first meeting between the two sides since their Euro 2012 group stage meeting in L’viv, with the Mannschaft winning 2-1 en route to the last four.

The team lineup is out, and there’s a good look about this German side. There’s a nice balance of new faces and inexperienced players, with a couple of more experienced campaigners in the mix including World Cup winner Julian Draxler, who takes the captain’s armband for the second time in his senior international career.

There are three debutants in the starting lineup. Paris St. Germain’s Kevin Trapp is in goal, while at the other end of the pitch there is a two-man attack consisting of Borussia Mönchengladbach captain Lars Stindl and a veteran of the 2009 Euro Under-21 winning side, Sandro Wagner.

As well as skipper Draxler, there are four players who were in the Euro 2016 squad. Wing backs Jonas Hector and Joshua Kimmich can now consider themselves established members of the team, while experienced squad man Sebastian Rudy joins Draxler in midfield alongside Schalke 04’s Leon Goretzka, who gets to add another cap to the his current total of three.

All of the defensive unit have at least one cap, with Antonio Rüdiger the most experienced. The AS Roma man is joined by Hoffenheim (soon to be Bayern) central defender Niklas Süle – who will move out of the dreaded one-cap wonder camp – and the second World Cup winner, Matthias Ginter of Borussia Dortmund.

Four of the Danish starting eleven should be familiar to Bundesliga watchers. Gladbach’s Andreas Christensen and Jannik Vestergaard are up against club captain Stindl, while Werder Bremen’s Thomas Delaney and RB Leipzig’s Yussuf Poulsen are also living up for the 1992 European champions.

The home team are in their familiar red shirts and white shorts, evoking memories of that unforgettable night in Göteborg. Unforgettable for them, that is. They are back in Hummel-branded kits too – one cannot think about Denmark without thinking about Hummel kits. The Mannschaft, meanwhile, are in their familiar Schwarz und Weiß ensemble.

It is a cloudy evening, and there is rain in the air. The two teams line up for the national anthems, but first there is a minute’s silence for the victims of the recent attacks in London. The crowd is excellent, and we are all set to kick off.

1 min. English referee Michael Oliver, whose kit makes him look a little like a priest wearing a dog collar, provides the starting peep of his whistle, and we are underway.

3 mins. Denmark get the ball out wide on the right, and Christian Eriksen’s cross is turned away by Rüdiger.

5 mins. It has been a slightly scratchy start, but a good move from the visitors sees Kimmich make his way down the right. The Bayern man’s looks for target man Wagner in the centre, but Danish ‘keeper Frederik Rønnow punches the ball clear.

6 mins. Germany look have settled into a 3-5-2 formation, with Kimmich and Hector playing the role of old school wing backs.

13 mins. It has been an incredibly quiet start, but Löw’s team are finally able to get some possession. Ginter and Kimmich combine nicely in the buildup, and the Bayern man’s pass finds Goretzka who sends in a cross looking for Wagner. Try as he might, the big Hoffenheim striker is unable to reach it.

15 mins. The first real chance, and it falls for the hosts. Denmark win a free-kick on the left and Eriksen delivers a testing ball into the box. It is met spectacularly by Vestergaard on the volley and his shot is form enough, but Trapp makes an excellent save. The resulting corner comes to nothing, and the Germans clear their lines.

18 mins. Denmark have been looking strong, and open the scoring. Sadly, it is all down to a number of errors in the German defence. Ginter plays a suicidal-looking ball from the relative safe confines of the right touchline, Süle cannot control it, and Rüdiger’s clearing header is nowhere near good enough. The ball is collected by Danish skipper Eriksen, who finds the back of the net with his right foot from some fifteen yards. There’s not much Trapp can do about that. 0-1.

21 mins. German immediately look to get back into the contest, but Kimmich’s cross is too strong for Wagner.

22 mins. The play switches quickly and the nippy Martin Braithwaite skids past Süle. Rüdiger does enough however, and the danger passes.

23 mins. Danish defender Jens Stryger Larsen has a pop from distance, but Trapp collects safely.

26 mins. Germany win three quick corners, but are unable to make anything of them. The team may have a completely different look, but the inability to make anything useful from set pieces remains consistent.

28 mins. The visitors look to attack down the left flank, and Hector’s pass into the box is flicked on by Stindl into the path of Wagner, who does well to find Goretzka. The Schalke man hesitates for far too long before shooting, and his shot is easy for Rønnow.

30 mins. There’s some decent possession for the Mannschaft now, and Hector skews a shot across goal.

31 mins. The visitors move the ball up the length of the pitch, and after some good approach play by Stindl, Kimmich advances down the right and finds Wagner. The big man’s effort is well blocked by Vestergaard – another big man. Things are happening here.

32 mins. Another half chance, as Goretzka sends a curling shot towards goal. It is easy for Rønnow though, and the Danish ‘keeper gathers the ball easily.

33 mins. It’s that man Goretzka again, and this time he is unable to control is shot fully after Ginter’s neat reverse pass. The ball skids wide of the post, as the visitors continue to lay siege to the Danish goalmouth.

35 mins. Draxler has been fairly quiet up to now, but sends in a low skidding shot that is turned behind by Rønnow for a corner. a decent enough effort, but easy for the ‘keeper too.

40 mins. Since Denmark’s goal, Germany have dominated the game. But for all the possession and pressure, Rønnow hasn’t really been tested.

44 mins. There a little light chaos in the Danish box as Draxler looks to carve out an opportunity. Hector’s cut back cannot find Goetzka, and Kimmich is crowded out.

45 mins. The whistle blows for half time.

A quiet and rather tepid start, a short burst for Denmark and the opening goal, followed by steady pressure with no return for Germany. It’s all a bit of a mess, and it is clear that the men in white will need to be far more clinical if they want to get back into this game. There will be surely be a few changes in the second half, as the coach looks to build on what has been good momentum and turn it into a head of steam.

46 mins. No changes for the Mannschaft yet, and the second half gets underway. Meanwhile, Denmark have made a couple of replacements. Lasse Schøne is on for William Qvist, and Mathias Jattah-Njie Jørgensen, better known as Zanka, is on for Christensen.

49 mins. Hector sends in a dangerous low cross from the left towards the lurking Wagner, but Vestergaard hoofs it clear.

50 mins. Denmark move the ball swiftly, and Nikolai Jørgensen knocks back and infield to Eriksen. The shot is well struck, and fizzes just above the top left-hand corner.

52 mins. Zanka and Jorgensen combine outside the box, and the substitute is dragged down by Rüdiger. After much deliberation, Eriksen’s free-kick floats harmlessly over the bar.

53 mins. The pressure is coming from the home side now, and Trapp has to make another excellent save. This time Riza Durmisi makes a fool out of Rudy before sending a cross into the box. Poulsen slides for the ball with Hector right beside him, and Trapp brilliantly flips the ball over he crossbar.

57 mins. The first change for Germany, as Emre Can replaces the slightly discombobulated Rudy. Can he help turn things around? Jogi’s boys are really up against it now.

59 mins. Germany win a corner out on the left. Hector takes it, and Sule’s looping header is turned over the top.

60 mins. Getting closer. The corner is swung up from the right, and Ginter’s smart glancing header is brilliantly saved by Rønnow. No such luck from the third corner however.

65 mins. After a bit of a quiet spell, the changes begin apace. There’s a double change for Denmark, as Lukas Lerager and Frederik Sørensen come on for Eriksen and Durmisi.

66 mins. The fourth debutant is on for the Mannschaft as Jogi Löw makes his second change of the evening. Having progressed all the way up from Under-15 level in the Nationaltrikot, Ajax Amsterdam winger Amin Younes makes his way onto the field to replace Ginter and win his first senior international cap.

67 mins. Germany’s third change, as Wagner makes way for Julian Brandt.

68 mins. Can creates some space for himself outside the opposition penalty area, but his shot is lashed narrowly over the target.

72 mins. Having soaked up the pressure, the Danes are no looking to sit back a little. It looks fairly easy for them at the moment.

75 mins. Germany win a free-kick right on the edge of the box, which Draxler curls towards the far post. It appears to hit Jørgensen on the arm, but that would have been harsh as he is clearly not looking for any advantage. A corner is awarded, but one again the visitors are unable to capitalise.

77 mins. It’s time for the fifth new German face, as Hoffenheim’s Kerem Demirbay is on for the excellent Goretzka. Meanwhile, Denmark complete their substitution merry go round as teenager Kasper Dolberg and Lasse Vide replace Jørgensen and Poulsen.

81 mins. Demirbay has a shot from distance, but can only watch as it floats harmlessly over the Danish goal.

83 mins. Apart from a couple of bright moments, this German side have been pretty poor. As if to sum up the evening, Draxler sends a meaningless pass straight to… Nowhere.

85 mins. While it was pretty established that the majority of these players are unlikely to feature in next year’s World Cup, only a couple have really stood out this evening. The busy Leon Goretzka was clearly Germany’s best outfield player, while Kevin Trapp has looked excellent between the sticks.

88 mins. What’s this then? Out of nowhere, a moment of sheer magic. Denmark fail to clear their lines and the ball falls to Younes, who makes a mazy run down the left before tapping the ball back to Demirbay. The Hoffenheim man’s cross is only half cleared by a red shirt before being flicked on by Stindl, and the move is finished in spectacular fashion by Kimmich from eight yards. Not just any old finish, but one that would have done Klaus Fischer proud. All of those other long-time fans of the Mannschaft will know exactly what I am talking about. That came out of nowhere. Rønnow is beaten, and Germany are level. 1-1.

89 mins. There was no real celebration after the goal, as Kimmich fell awkwardly and is holding his ankle. His team mates gather around around him. Amid all of the slightly subdued German celebrations, it is time for debutant number six to come on. Jonas Hector makes his way off the pitch as Jogi makes his fifth bench change of the evening, and is replaced by Hertha BSC’s Marvin Plattenhardt.

90 mins. There will be three additional minutes. Kimmich is on his feet again, and looks OK.

90+3 mins. Time is up. An ordinary show from Jogi’s Jungs, but all can be forgiven following that fantastic Kimmich finish. The only shame that it was only a friendly.

In the end, this encounter was a pretty flat debutante ball that was going nowhere until the Prince turned up at the end with a gem of a goal. Joshua Kimmich will almost certainly score more important goals for Germany in what will hopefully be a long and fruitful career, but he will surely remember this one.

Germany’s inexperienced and experimental side had looked listless for much of what was a pretty dull encounter, and it clear that there is much for this young team to learn. The 1-1 result was more than adequate against what was a decent enough Danish outfit, and the team will be looking to score a good few more goals in four days time against San Marino in Nürnberg.

Brøndby Stadion, Brøndbyvester, 06.06.2017

1-1 (0-1)
Kimmich 88. / Eriksen 18.

Germany: Trapp* – Süle, Rüdiger, Ginter (66. Younes*) – Kimmich, Goretzka (77. Demirbay*), Draxler (c), Rudy (57. Can), Hector (89. Plattenhardt*) – Stindl*, Wagner* (67. Brandt)

Denmark: Rønnow – Larsen, Christensen (46. Zanka), Vestergaard, Durmisi (65. Sørensen) – Delaney, Kvist (46. Schøne) – Eriksen (c) (65. Lerager) – Poulsen (76. Dolberg), Braithwaite – N. Jørgensen (76. Vide)

Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
Assistants: Gary Beswick (England), Simon Bennett (England)
Fourth Official: Jakob Kehlet (Denmark)

Yellow Cards: – / –
Red Cards: – / –

Ball Possession: 38% / 62%
Attempts on Target/Blocked: 8 / 3
Attempts off Target: 5 / 5
Corners: 12 / 5
Fouls Committed: 6 / 6

Attendance: 25,000

* Full international debut

Kimmich’s wonder strike saves Germany at Denmark Debutante Ball

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