Germany warms up for Euro 2020 with 7-1 rout of Latvia
Dusseldorf (Germany), June 8 (AP/PTI): Germany warmed up for the European Championship with a 7-1 rout of Latvia in its last friendly game before the tournament.
Kai Havertz was involved in three of Germany’s five first-half goals on Monday before making way for Chelsea teammate Timo Werner for the second half, and Thomas M ller also scored his first since he was recalled to the team in time for the tournament that starts on Friday.
Latvia reported a positive result for the coronavirus among the team hours before kickoff.
Germany will face tougher opposition in its opening game against world champion France in Munich on June 15. Germany also faces Portugal and Hungary in Group F.
But Germany coach Joachim L w can’t have asked for more from his side as it produced a complete and concentrated performance before the team leaves Tuesday for its tournament base in Herzogenaurach in Bavaria.
“It will be difficult to play against us,” said captain Manuel Neuer, who became the first Germany goalkeeper to reach 100 appearances. He was applauded before the game by some 1,000 spectators permitted amid coronavirus restrictions.
L w started with his strongest available team in the absence of the injured Leon Goretzka. Toni Kroos was back after recovering from the coronavirus, partnering Ilkay G ndogan in midfield, with Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich moving over to the right wing. Atalanta’s Robin Gosens started on the left.
Antonio R diger, Mats Hummels and Matthias Ginter formed the defense, while there were three up front, too, with M ller and Havertz supporting striker Serge Gnabry.
Havertz flashed a shot just wide as the hosts began with intent. Gnabry and M ller had good chances before Gosens made the breakthrough in the 20th. It was the Atalanta player’s first goal for Germany and went in off the underside of the crossbar after he played a one-two with Havertz.
Havertz was involved again as G ndogan made it 2-0 a minute later, but there was no let-up with L w’s players pressuring and harrying their opponents on the rare occasions they didn’t have the ball.
Kimmich hit the post before M ller scored. Havertz then forced an own goal from Roberts Ozols and there was still time before the break for Hummels to set up Gnabry to score Germany’s fifth with the outside of his boot.
Werner got the sixth five minutes into the second half before Germany’s intensity dropped amid more changes with half an hour to play.
Aleksejs Saveljevs capitalised on the drop in concentration to score Latvia’s consolation with a shot inside the left post in the 75th, but Leroy San replied a minute later for Germany.
Easy For Ukraine
Andriy Yarmolenko scored twice including a penalty as Ukraine eased to a 4-0 win over 10-man Cyprus in its final warm-up game for the tournament.
The visitors’ hopes of an upset were effectively ended when Antreas Panayiotou was sent off after conceding the first of two penalties in the 36th minute. Oleksandr Zinchenko scored the other penalty and Roman Yaremchuk got the other goal.
Ukraine is in Group C with Austria, the Netherlands and North Macedonia.
Also, the Faeroe Islands routed Lichtenstein 5-1 and Andorra drew with Gibraltar 0-0.