Mats Hummels' own goal sunk Germany as they lost 0-1 to reigning World Cup champions France in their first game of Euro 2020 in the 'Group of Death'.
The Group of Death in Euro 2020 lived up to all the expectations of an epic tussle on Tuesday. After Cristiano Ronaldo’s record in the Portugal vs Hungary match in Budapest, it was the turn of two world champion sides colliding in Munich. France, the reigning FIFA World Cup champion took on Germany, the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion. The clash was intense, but Mats Hummels’ own goal in the 20th minute gifted France a hard-fought win and crucially, three points.
Germany had dominated possession in the first half and they opted for an aggressive style of play. However, they had to temper down the aggression as Joshua Kimmich was handed a yellow card for a nasty tackle on Lucas Hernandez. That shifted the momentum to France and they created chances. Paul Pogba missed the first corner delivered by Antoine Griezmann. The second chance created by Kylian Mbappe was saved by Manuel Neuer. However, disaster would soon hit Germany in Euro 2020.
Hummels tried to stop the ball from reaching Mbappe. Pogba opened the German defence up with a crossfield pass to Hernandez on the left side of the box. Hernandez shot it across the face for a goal towards Mbappe. Hummels got there first. However, the German defender could not adjust his speed or momentum and he shot it into his own net.
It was not the start for Joachim Loew, who is managing the German side for the last time before Hansi Flick takes over in the new season. Germany tried to claw their way back into the contest. Thomas Muller got some great assistance but he could not manage to score the goal. Toni Kroos, who had scored an inspirational freekick to deny Sweden a win in the 2018 World Cup, tried to get Germany back into the groove but he could not penetrate the French wall.
Germany had dominated possession in the first half but France held firm as the defensive unit responded well.
The second half witnessed a peculiar scene before the kickoff. A Greenpeace activist on a paraglider landed into the stadium. However, he was hauled away by the authorities. France and Germany continued their see-saw battle. The 2018 champions, though, were denied by VAR on two occasions.
In the 66th minute, a splendid run from Mbappe had created a chance for France. He scored a goal, only for him to be ruled offside. During the 78th minute, some good defending from Hummels saw Mbappe go down in the penalty area but the referee did not give it. In the 85th minute, Karim Benzema seemed to have put the result beyond doubt. However, VAR ruled Benzema to be offside.
It would have been a great return for the French striker after being out of the wilderness for five years. There were eight minutes of added time for Germany to make a comeback. Kroos tried to create chances but all were cleared out. France held their nerve and clinched the contest.
The statistics for this match showed that Germany had the greater accuracy in passing and they had dominated possession. In the end, they would only have themselves to blame for allowing that own goal by Hummels. France will take on Hungary in their next game. Germany will square off against a resurgent Portugal team on June 19th.