Sunday, July 14, 2024

Belgium beat Germany 3-2 to pile pressure on Euro 2024 hosts

Euro 2024
Germany's Emre Can (centre) is tackled by Belgium's Wout Faes (left) and Johan Bakayoko during the international friendly in Cologne, western Germany. Image Credit: AFP

Cologne, March 29: Belgium crusied to a 3-2 win over Germany in a friendly on Tuesday. With this win, Belgium, with two wins from two matches in the past four days, have piled pressure on the embattled Euro 2024 hosts.
With both teams eager to bounce back from their shock group stage World Cup exits in December, it was Belgium who were the better side, with Germany struggling with their backline.
The Germans were completely outclassed in the first half, as Belgium attacked at will.
They took the lead with a superb five-pass move from deep in their own half as Yannick Carrasco, unmarked and with lots of space on the left, rifled home in the sixth minute.
Before the hosts had any time to recover, Belgium struck again after some more woeful German defending, with Kevin De Bruyne slipping the ball through to Romelu Lukaku to finish from inside the box.
The Belgium striker had also scored a hat-trick in their 3-0 win over Sweden in their opening Group F Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday and he could have added another goal in the 20th when he rattled the bar with a powerful header.
The Germans, who beat Peru 2-0 on Saturday in their first international since their World Cup exit in Qatar, earned a penalty on the stroke of halftime and forward Niclas Fuellkrug converted for his sixth goal in six international matches.
Despite a livelier second half, the hosts conceded a third as De Bruyne finished from another swift Belgium move as the German defence was caught napping once more.
Serge Gnabry cut the deficit in the 88th minute but it was not enough to deny new Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco a second win from two matches.
Scott McTominay double gives Scotland famous win over Spain
Scott McTominay scored a brace as Scotland stunned Spain 2-0 in their Euro 2024 qualifier at Hampden Park on Tuesday.
The win is a first for the Scots over their Iberian opponents since 1984 and ensures they top Group A on six points from two games, while second-placed Spain have three.
McTominay also scored twice off the bench in a 3-0 win over Cyprus on Saturday and was the catalyst for what will go down as a famous win and further entrench manager Steve Clarke’s view that they are a team very much on the up.
New Spain coach Luis de la Fuente made eight changes from the side that beat Norway 3-0 in Malaga at the weekend, and it showed as they battled to get any sustained momentum in the game as their hosts harried and pressed them into numerous errors.
McTominay profited from a Pedro Porro slip to score his first goal, as Andy Robertson picked up possession in the box and played the ball into his path, and then got on the end of an excellent run and cross from Kieran Tierney for number two.
De la Fuente handed a first start to 33-year-old striker Joselu and he hit the crossbar with a header midway through the opening period on a frustrating night for the visitors when tempers at times threatened to boil over.
(ToI With inputs from Reuters)