National team: DFB team loses against Türkiye – Nagelsmann’s home debut goes wrong

The German national players crept off the lawn of the Berlin Olympic Stadium with their heads hanging while the Turkish team exuberantly celebrated their victory.

National team: DFB team loses against Türkiye – Nagelsmann’s home debut goes wrong

The German national players crept off the lawn of the Berlin Olympic Stadium with their heads hanging while the Turkish team exuberantly celebrated their victory.

In his unsuccessful home debut, national coach Julian Nagelsmann dared too much and suffered his first defeat with a 2:3 (1:2) defeat. In the arena, which was sold out with 72,592 spectators, the national soccer team had to accept a bitter dampening of the mood seven months before the home European Championship kicked off. In order to get back to the capital for the final on July 14, 2024, Nagelsmann still has to do a lot of work.

Kai Havertz (5th minute), who was surprisingly called up as left defender, and Niclas Füllkrug (48th) scored the goals in an extremely attacking DFB team. The Turks not only exposed the deficits in the backward movement with the goals from Ferdi Kadioglu (38th) and Kenan Yildiz (45th 2). Yusuf Sari's penalty goal (71') after Havertz's handball finally sealed the defeat.

"We became too lethargic. I don't know if we thought it would happen on its own," said captain Ilkay Gündogan and said: "It feels like we lost the game in the first half today. "

There will be a chance to make amends on Tuesday (8:45 p.m./ZDF). Then it's in Vienna against Austria against another European Championship participant. Small historical glimmer of hope: When Germany lost against Turkey for the last time in 2005 (1:2), a few months later there was the World Cup summer fairy tale.

Captain Ilkay Gündogan's team was greeted with whistles and boos by the tens of thousands of Turkish fans in the arena as they warmed up. Gündogan played against his parents' home country for the first time and experienced something like an away game. Things will be completely different at the European Championships next summer.

Until then, Nagelsmann and his selection only have a few opportunities left to get into the right shape and get back into the hearts of the German fans. Against the Turks, the successor to the hapless Hansi Flick tried an unexpected experiment: Havertz started on the left in the back four in front of goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who replaced Marc-André ter Stegen, who left with back problems.

“In general, I have a great imagination for him because he is an exceptionally good footballer,” Nagelsmann said before the game on RTL. Havertz demonstrated just how offensively the Arsenal professional should interpret his unusual role after just four minutes when he finished off a great attack in the Turks' six-yard box with the opening goal. Benjamin Henrichs served Leroy Sané with a fine through ball into the back of the visitors' defense, which the Munich player then set up for Havertz.

“Away win,” the German fans shouted ironically after the goal. The shrill whistles of the Turkish supporters now fell silent, but the mood in the stands remained peaceful. According to the police, there were no special incidents during the Turkish fans' march to the Olympic Stadium, apart from the burning of a few pyrotechnic flares.

Both teams played a lively game on the pitch, which the German team initially controlled. Sané could have increased the score in the 16th minute, but from 18 meters he shot past both keeper Altay Bayindir, who had rushed out wide, and the goal.

After a strong initial phase, however, Nagelsmann's protégés began to see more and more of the defensive wobbles that had been known from previous months. The national coach actually wanted to work on these weaknesses during the current course in order to reduce the number of goals conceded.

Almost logically, the equalizer fell for the Turks, who were now becoming increasingly stronger. Henrichs and Sané let Kadioglu escape behind them, and the Turkish whirlwind shot ice-coldly into the near corner. So again the German team did not manage to keep a clean sheet as they had hoped for.

And it got even worse: Shortly before the break, a diagonal ball from Kaan Ayhan flew over the inserted Henrichs, leaving Yildiz all alone. The 18-year-old, who was born in Regensburg and trained at FC Bayern, smashed the ball wonderfully into the right corner of the goal, and Trapp had no chance again.

Angry, Nagelsmann was the first to stalk into the locker room. In the stands, former national coach Joachim Löw was amazed at the hosts' increasingly questionable performance. Nagelsmann's speech during the break quickly had an effect. With the first attack, his team made it 2-2. After a nice solo, Wirtz found Füllkrug, who had previously been completely unregistered, and scored his tenth goal in his twelfth international match with a dry low shot.

But the next shocking moment followed shortly afterwards when Dortmund's Salih Özcan hit the outside post of the German goal from 18 meters (52nd). The DFB selection simply couldn't get the game under control because the Turks fought against it with great passion and the video evidence also helped them.

The Polish referee Bartosz Frankowski punished a debatable handball by Havertz with a penalty. Sari overcame Trapp, who still had his fingers on the ball.

Nagelsmann now sent Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry onto the field for Wirtz and the unconvincing Joshua Kimmich. Bremen's Marvin Ducksch, who came on for Julian Brandt, also made his national team debut in the final minutes. Gnabry still had the chance to equalize, but narrowly missed a cross from Henrichs (86th).

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