Germany was heading for an early exit from Euro 2020 before Leon Goretzka’s late equalizer; Joachim Low’s side have won only five of their last 12 competitive games; England host Germany in a last-16 clash at Wembley on Tuesday, kick-off at 5 pm
Germany won only one of their three Group F games and was six minutes from elimination before a late Leon Goretzka equalizer kept them in the competition against Hungary in their final game on Wednesday evening.
Euro 2020 will be Low’s final competition at the helm of his country after 15 years in charge and while the 61-year-old admitted Germany had to be better when they travel to Wembley on Tuesday, he cast aside criticism about their performances at the tournament so far.
“I’m not worried, it’s a totally different match,” he said. “Hungary parked the bus, with everyone behind the ball, entered every duel, against England it will be a totally different match.
“They are playing at home, they want to attack, it’s going to be an open match, more open than it was tonight. We need to improve on things, we are aware of that, and need to take care and be careful, especially at set-pieces.
“We cannot repeat the same mistakes again. We need to do things better here, but ahead of the match against England, we’re looking forward to it.
“It’s great news to play in London at Wembley against England. The group stage is over and now we have to focus. It’s in or out now. Our performance so far hasn’t been too good, but if we show what we can, as we did against Portugal for long spells, we can be a strong opponent, and if we don’t do that we can get into difficulties.”
Low himself was critical of Germany’s performance against a Hungary side who looked capable of supplying a seemingly unthinkable outcome as the game entered its final stages, thanks in part to retaking the lead in Munich only 91 seconds after Kai Havertz had first canceled out Adam Szalai’s early opener.
“We committed some mistakes, and gave away too many balls,” he said. “This shouldn’t happen again in our next match, you will have resistance in this group, that was clear beforehand, this was the group of death – we got the second spot and now travel to England.
“We didn’t find enough spaces or open up enough spaces in their defense. It was a great mentality at the end, a good moral spirit. We didn’t give up, we didn’t go crazy after falling behind. After scoring the equalizer, the character and personality my team showed were perfect.”