That’s not enough for title dreams! The national football team disappointed their fans with the fourth 1-1 draw in a row and once again failed to meet the World Cup expectations of national coach Hansi Flick against Hungary. Jonas Hofmann (9th minute) prevented the first defeat in the twelfth international match under Flick as a big ray of hope with his quick equalizer, but the first victory in the Nations League did not want to succeed after the draws against Italy and England on Saturday evening in Budapest.
Zsolt Nagy (6th) took advantage of the early disorder in the partially confused German defense, which lacked stability and order without the rested defense chief Antonio Rüdiger. In the third international match within a week, the DFB selection without Thomas Müller, who only came on at the end, remained well below the 100 percent commitment required by Flick.
On the way to the World Cup in Qatar, Flick thought he was on the right track before kick-off. But there is still a lot of work to be done. In the Nations League, at half-time in the group phase, Germany is closer to relegation with three points than to finals.
At least there is a chance to make amends on Tuesday, when European champions Italy are in Mönchengladbach for the last game before the long-awaited summer break. Central defender Nico Schlotterbeck, who is suspended after his second yellow card, will then be absent.
As soon as the game had picked up speed, Flick had to doubt his judgment of the “good way”. A long ball from Hungary’s Willi Orban duped the German back four. David Raum let Attila Fiola do the cross, Schlotterbeck was too far away when Roland Sallai headed the ball. Although Manuel Neuer was able to parry with a reflex, Nagy chased the ball under the crossbar in the follow-up shot.
It was precisely these defensive dropouts that Flick had actually forbidden after having recently managed to keep a clean sheet against the Netherlands, Italy and England. After all, like at the start of the Nations League in Italy, his protégés showed a prompt reaction within three minutes. Schlotterbeck’s long pass reached the well-started Hofmann, Hungary’s keeper Peter Gulasci misjudged the run out. The Gladbach player passed the ball and pushed into the empty goal to equalize.
Hofmann had already scored the German goal against the English. In Italy, the 29-year-old prepared the equalizer. So far this Nations League summer, Hofmann has been one of the winners in the search for the World Cup squad for Qatar.
But the quick answer gave the guests no security. Flick gesticulated eagerly on the sidelines and seemed very upset by his team’s performance. The Germans had much more possession of the ball, but no control of the game. On the defensive, the DFB selection seemed very vulnerable against the quickly switching Hungary. Above all, the Hoffenheim area, allegedly courted by Borussia Dortmund, repeatedly got into trouble on the left side.
As in the trembling 2:2 in the European Championship group game last year, the hosts proved to be extremely uncomfortable opponents. But that was also due to the fact that Flick’s specifications for commitment and offensive line were not implemented. When Schlotterbeck ironed out a bad pass from Niklas Süle and received a yellow card suspension, the national coach had even more reason to be angry.
Chances such as the header from birthday boy Kai Havertz (18th) and the shot from Raum (40th) past the far post were scarce. Neuer even had to save the draw against Fiola’s direct acceptance into the dressing room (44th).
And it didn’t get any better after the change of sides. The German team only increased the tempo for a short time, but soon the Hungarians were organized again in their compact defense. In the game forward, the DFB team lacked ideas and esprit. After a lot of idling, Hofmann suddenly reappeared free in front of Gulasci, but his pass didn’t reach Timo Werner (72′).