Euro2020: Mats’ blunder costs Germany dearly

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 11:06 PM IST
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Mats Hummels (R) deflects the ball past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (L) to score an own goal | AFP

Munich: France are up and running at UEFA EURO 2020 after Mats Hummels' first-half own goal proved enough to secure victory in the Group F opener with Germany – in truth, the margin could have been greater.

France are up and running at UEFA EURO 2020 after Mats Hummels' first-half own goal proved enough to secure victory in the Group F opener with Germany – in truth, the margin could have been greater.

From then on France were content to sit back, soak up the pressure and use Kylian Mbappé's jet-heels on the counter. It was the Paris man's cuter side that almost fashioned a second, releasing Adrien Rabiot for a near-post shot that beat Manuel Neuer but not the post.

"We played a great game against very good opponents. I knew my players would be ready and we were up for the fight. We weren't far away from scoring the second goal that would have made us safe, but we didn't suffer that much in the second half. It was a strong match with quality and talent," said Didier Deschamps, France coach.

Treming it as a well-ought encounter, the German coach Joachim Low said, "It was a really intense match and we fought until the very end. I cannot blame my team for not trying – they gave everything they had.a

Low moved quickly, pushing Joshua Kimmich into midfield, and suddenly Germany were a renewed attacking force, Serge Gnabry came within a whisker of an equaliser. That was as good as it got, however, and France had two goals chalked off for Mbappé offsides as they nevertheless joined Germany's next opponents Portugal on three points atop Group F.

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