Germany and Belgium will butt heads in friendly action on Tuesday to bring their respective international breaks to a close.
Germany and Belgium are both looking at a new era after disappointment at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The next generations are looking to establish themselves and help their countries achieve glory. Both began their post-World Cup journeys with convincing victories.
Hansi Flick’s Germany bested Peru in another friendly last time out as they begun their preparations to host Euro 2024 next year. Even though this is just another exhibition game, there’ll be a real desire to send a statement with another win.
As for Belgium, they kicked off their qualification for the tournament with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sweden and are now taking a pause from competitive action.
Dealing with a host of injuries, Germany will be without Kai Havertz and Nico Schlotterbeck, who dropped out of Tuesday’s friendly. The team is coming off a 2-0 win over Peru on Saturday, with both goals scored by Niclas Füllkrug. Yet, Belgium will also be without a key member, missing starting goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
They visitors took the lead at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne 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 half-time and forward Niclas Fullkrug 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.
“We were far too passive and did not put them under any pressure,” said Germany coach Hansi Flick. “Belgium used this mercilessly. We had to change things around a bit to find stability.
“You could see that we have a lot of work in front of us. We want to be more active and we did it better after about 30 minutes. For us, with an eye on the future, that’s where we have to work on. For everyone to work together.”
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