Colombia beats Germany for the first time to deepen Euro 2024 host team’s sense of angst

Germany's Niclas Fullkrug, center, heads the ball past Colombia's Jhon Lucumi, left, during an international friendly soccer match Tuesday between Germany and Colombia at Veltins-Arena, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Juan Cuadrado scored one goal and set up another for Colombia to beat Germany 2-0 in a friendly Tuesday and deepen the sense of crisis around the German team one year before the country hosts Euro 2024.

Colombia’s win was its first ever over Germany, a four-time world champion that appears to have forgotten how to win games.


German supporters whistled their team off after the latest disappointment, the third in a week after a 1-0 loss to Poland and 3-3 draw with Ukraine.

Germany, which flopped at the World Cup with a second straight group-stage exit, has won only three of its 11 games this season under coach Hansi Flick — an ultimately futile win over Costa Rica at the World Cup, and two friendly victories over Peru and Oman.

Flick had been hoping to finish the season on a high note, saying before kickoff that a win was imperative.

“We know that we need successful results to take the next steps, otherwise it will be difficult,” Flick told broadcaster RTL.

Flick again made a host of changes to his team after the disappointments against Poland and Ukraine. He dropped Joshua Kimmich as captain in favor of Champions League-winner İlkay Gündoğan, and brought in Marius Wolf, Robin Gosens, Leon Goretzka and Leroy Sané for Thilo Kehrer, Benjamin Henrichs, Jonas Hofmann and Florian Wirtz.

There was a brief holdup midway through the first half after a group of people in the crowd ran onto the field. Two almost made it to the goalposts before they were tackled by stewards.

Colombia seized the initiative once play resumed, capitalizing on uncertain German defending to create several good chances.

Malick Thiaw, who started for the second consecutive game after making his debut against Poland, made a crucial tackle to stop Luis Díaz, who was through on goal, and Marc-André ter Stegen produced a flying save to deny Yerry Mina.

Jamal Musiala and Kai Havertz combined for a chance just before the break — it was Germany’s first, and it didn’t prevent fans’ whistles for the team at the break.

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