Slick Germany fire in three to see off Slovakia and clinch quarters spot
Holly Thackeray | June 26, 2016
Germany 3-0 Slovakia
- Die Mannschaft defender Boateng opened scoring within eight minutes
- Skrtel laid hands on Gomez to concede a penalty moments later
- Ozil saw his weak spot-kick saved by keeper Kozacik
- Gomez grabbed Germany’s second just before half-time
- Draxler delivered a deadly third strike with a volley on 63 minutes
- Germany will now face one of giants Italy or Spain in the quarters
Germany grab for glory
In the second of Sunday’s Euro 2016 last 16 offerings, Germany sank Slovakia smoothly by a 3-0 scoreline in northern France, thanks to goals from Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Julian Draxler.
Die Mannschaft went for the jugular from the off, with Boateng converting a deflected strike from a badly cleared corner in the opening 10 minutes and, with their game plan to sit back busted, Slovakia struggled to get a foot in the fixture.
Lethal Gomez helped himself to the second goal, created by the quick feet of Draxler, who himself dispatched in the second-half to finish off the Falcons with an exquisite volley.
Having grasped their ticket to the quarter-finals, as they seek a fourth European Championship trophy, Joachim Low’s lads will next face a blockbuster battle with one of Italy or Spain.
Everyone knows Germany can roll over their fair share of minnows, but are the world champions in good enough form to successfully grapple with Europe’s finest?
Elsewhere in the round of 16, hosts France overcame Republic of Ireland 2-1 having fought back from an early penalty concession, with England or Iceland awaiting in the quarters.
Boateng blaster signals bombardment
Germany stunned Slovakia after just eight minutes of play in Lille, clearly in no mood to risk a repeat of the recently friendly, in which the Falcons ran out shock 3-1 winners.
Sami Khedira got the first glance on target as he leapt to connect with Toni Kroos’ dipping set-piece delivery, only for Matus Kozacik to tip over. The subsequent corner was no Slovak safety net, though, as it allowed bold Bayern Munich defender Boateng to display his prowess at the other end of the pitch.
The ex-Manchester City man got proceedings underway with a low rifled shot that took a nick on its way into the net after Repre’s rearguard failed to clear their lines. Game on.
Die Mannscahft weren’t about to rest on their laurels however, and within mere moments had won a penalty after Liverpool centre back Martin Skrtel saw yellow for a blatant push on Gomez, who was about to gobble up Thomas Muller’s scooped cross.
Yet it was neither one of regular goalscorers Muller or Gomez on spot-kick duty, and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil instead stepped up to shoulder responsibility. The run-up and strike were too obvious though, allowing to Kozacik to guess easily and push the ball to safety.
A later chance at a volley ended with the ball blasted over the bar, and another shot fizzed wide of the right-hand post following fine work from deft Draxler and Gomez, suggesting it was not to be Gunner Ozil’s evening in front of goal.
Goal hunter Gomez (now 8/1 with Coral to be top Euro 2016 scorer) had his tail up, however, and continued to threaten the Falcons with Germany tightening their grip on the game. It was almost as if Die Mannschaft were trying to show England how it’s done, with Slovakia pegged deeply in their own half.
Slovakia rue nemesis Neuer
There was still the odd shaky moment at the back for Low’s lads, as complacency seemed to set in, with sloppy passes popping up. Though, defiant number one Manuel Neuer was alert as he sought to extend and protect his record of three consecutive clean sheets in the finals. Do Golden Gloves await?
Wide pick Draxler in particular also looked dangerous and more mature, threatening the full backs, pumping in well-weighted deliveries and opening up space for his side – perhaps highlighting just why Manchester United are attributed with an interest in the Wolfsburg winger.
Though, as Germany failed to kill the game off, Slovakia snuck forward, as Michal Duris twice saw his chances – a mislaid backpass from Jonas Hector and a close-range header – repelled by nifty Neuer, who put in a superb save for the latter.
Gomez grabs another goal
The Falcons’ flair came to nothing, however, and having been forced to go forward they left gaps at the back. Die Mannscaft exploited, and it was that man Draxler who drove and danced into the area, before skipping past Peter Pekarik and delivering the ball on a platter so Gomez could grab the game’s second goal after evading Jan Durica.
Following up on his Poland winner, the former Munich marksman showed his home nation he is still sharp enough when lurking in the box, with a poacher’s toe poke to send Low and co wild. Though, much credit must also go to Draxler’s determination and direct play, providing a different dimension to the likes of crafty Kroos and Ozil.
Slovakia came back refreshed after the break, with Repre seeking to show they weren’t done yet, but it was not to last. Juraj Kucka and captain Marek Hamsik combined cutely, but the former’s strike though stinging barely ruffled the safe hands of Neuer.
Draxler adds more pounds to his price
Finally, having been his nation’s brightest spark, Draxler got in on the goalscoring act with 27 minutes still left on the clock. Continuing his career renaissance since leaving Schalke, the starlet seized on more Slovakian set-piece pain.
A loose ball into the box as the block of Slovak blue shirts seemed stranded fell to Draxler following a Mats Hummels head on, and the 22-year-old lashed a volley into the top corner with technical excellence. Man Utd will certainly have to up their offer if they fancy luring the Die Wolfe wingman now.
In cruise control, Kroos came close to adding a fourth on the counter, but Slovakia managed to spare anymore blushes thanks to their stopper.
Substitutions from both sides took the sting out of the scuffle somewhat, but Germany still dominated, reminding all doubters of their ability before a ball was kicked that they are world champions for a reason. Tournaments are their bread and butter, so beware all pretenders…