Germany drew 1-1 with Hungary in Group A3 of the Nations League, with Hansi Flick’s side serving up a tepid display at the Puskas Arena.
The first half got off to a frenetic start as Hungary took the lead on six minutes through Zsolt Nagy, only for Germany to equalise just minutes later after Jonas Hofmann got on the end of a sensational David Raum pass.
Germany were ponderous and poor in the second half, yet Hofmann had a brilliant chance to double his tally and give Germany the lead, but the full-back fluffed his lines while one-on-one with Peter Gulasci.
The draw means Germany remain third in their Nations League group, though Flick’s unbeaten run as Die Mannschaft manager is extended to 12 games, while Hungary are second, just a point off Roberto Mancini’s young Italian team at the top.
Next up for Marco Rossi’s side is a trip to Wembley to face England on Tuesday night, with Germany taking on Italy the same evening.
TALKING POINT – GERMANY REMAIN A WORK IN PROGRESS…
Flick’s short spell as Germany manager has seen an upturn in form and results. The former Bayern Munich boss has not lost a single one of his 12 matches in charge of the national team, while in that run Germany have netted in every game.
While this iteration of Germany seems a more effective outfit than the Joachim Low side that were knocked out in the last-16 of the Euro 2020 by England last summer, they are still a work in progress.
This was Germany’s fourth successive 1-1 draw in all competitions and despite a wealth of attacking options and an elite midfield including Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, there was a lack of invention when attempting to break down Hungary’s low block.
Moreover, there were moments in the first half when the German defence looked shaky ‒ a vulnerability that has carried over from the end of Low’s reign. Admittedly Antionio Rudiger, who is Germany’s best defender, was rested by Flick and would have probably helped to sure up the back five.
Ultimately, there are reasons to be positive for Germany fans ‒ most notably Jamal Musiala and Hofmann’s recent performances in a Die Mannschaft shirt ‒ however as the Qatar World Cup draws ever closer it is fair to say Flick’s side are by no means the finished article.
MAN OF THE MATCH – JONAS HOFMANN (GERMANY)
The Borussia Monchengladbach player has been in sparkling form while operating in Flick’s back five this Nations League campaign.
Hofmann, who was essentially playing as an auxiliary attacker in this match, was a frequent thorn in Hungary’s side and looked the most likely of Germany’s players to claim the winner.
The wing-back is adapting well to international football, having managed three goals and one assist in his last three starts for Germany, however he also fluffed a golden opportunity to put Flick’s side in-front in the second half.
It should also be noted that Hungary will be the happier of the two sides after claiming another impressive draw against a football powerhouse. However it is difficult to select a man of the match from their ranks when their performance was more the product of collective defensive stubbornness rather than individual brilliance.
Hungary: Gulacsi – 7, Lang – 7, Orban – 7, At. Szalai – 7, Fiola – 7, A. Nagy – 7, Styles – 7, Z. Nagy – 7 , Sallai – 7, Szoboszlai – 6, Ad. Szalai – 7 … Subs: Gazdag – 6, Nego – 6, Vecsei – 6, Adam – 6
Germany: Neuer – 7, Kehrer – 6, Sule – 6, Schlotterbeck – 6, Hofmann – 8*, Kimmich – 6, Goretzka – 6, Raum – 7, Havertz – 7, Musiala – 7, Werner – 7… Subs: Gündogan – 6, Nmecha – 6, Adeyemi -5, Brandt – 5, Müller – 6
6’ GOAL! HUNGARY 1- 0 GERMANY – Attila Fiola looped a ball into the box that was met by Roland Sallai, but the forward’s header was straight at Manuel Neuer. Strangely however, the Germany goalkeeper parried the ball back into danger, and Nagy was there to lash it into the roof of the net from close range.
8’ GOAL! HUNGARY 1-1 GERMANY – Two minutes after conceding Germany were back level, after Hofmann got on the end of a delightful David Raum pass, rounded the ‘keeper and tapped into an empty net.
40’ RAUM CAME CLOSE – Musiala weaved his way into the box before passing on the responsibility to Raum, who cut onto his right foot and whipped a shot at goal from close range that whistled past the far corner.
45’ NEUER SAVE – A ball was flicked towards Fiola, who had found space at the back post, and the Hungary full-back volleyed at goal from point-blank range only to be miraculously denied by the right leg of the Germany ‘keeper.
73’ HOFMANN SQUANDERS CHANCE – Kai Havertz threaded a brilliant pass through the lines towards Hofmann, who was onside with only the ‘keeper to beat, however the full-back hesitated before attempting a square pass to Timo Werner. The scuffed ball was out of reach of the Chelsea forward, which allowing Hungary to clear their lines.