Late Dier decider hands defiant England spoils in Germany duel
Holly Thackeray | March 26, 2016
Germany 2-3 England
- Gomez goal ruled incorrectly offside early on
- Kroos strike put hosts ahead in 43rd minute
- Stand in stopper Butland stretchered off for England before break
- Gomez grabbed Germany’s second
- Kane pulled one back on hour mark
- Vardy backheel drew Three Lions level
- Dier nabs stoppage tiem winner
Three Lions fearless in Berlin
England completed a famous friendly victory over bitter foes and world champions Germany on enemy turf, fighting back from 2-0 down to a triumphant 3-2 victory in Berlin.
The Three Lions (now 10/1 to win Euro 2016 with Coral) had initially folded to a cool Toni Kroos opener, with Mario Gomez adding a smooth second, before a pair of Tottenham talents changed the game.
It was Harry Kane’s heroic twisted goal that inspired the comeback, before Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy found the equaliser with a brilliant back heel and Eric Dier headed home a last-gasp winner to send English hopes high ahead of Euro 2016.
Gomez denied Die Mannschaft opener
There was an electric atmosphere as expected in Berlin, with England fans in full voice and seemingly making the most of Germany’s beer allowance, and it was the Three Lions that first tested the attacking waters.
Jordan Henderson, who went full throttle in this friendly fixture, curled a cross toward Danny Welbeck, stationed on the left to trouble makeshift right back Emre Can, but the Arsenal sharpshooter couldn’t quite make the extra yard to reach it.
While, Dele Alli illustrated his dangerous ability to breach Die Mannschaft’s defence with his pace and looked by far the Three Lions’ most threatening player of the first 45.
The Tottenham midfielder rifled a stinging shot toward number one Manuel Neuer and, though it sailed wide, later impressed by evading pressure from Kroos and Mesut Ozil, deceiving the duo with fancy footwork the pair would both be proud of.
Still, it was the home team that made the most effective inroads, as cult marksman Mario Gomez met a Can cross that cannoned off Gary Cahill, with Butland then forced to beat Mats Hummels to the subsequent set-piece, before Marco Reus collected, only to ping well wide.
Germany finally looked to have cracked England’s defensive code in the 26 minute though, as Gomez again popped up, the Turkey-based targetman receiving Sami Khedira’s crafty pass and placing the ball in the bottom corner. However, the striker’s celebrations were spoiled within seconds and German hopes dashed with the strike chalked off incorrectly offside.
Kroos control, Butland blues
England were unshaken by the breaching of their backline and continued to take the game to the hosts, as eager clubmates Alli and Harry Kane were instrumental in once again robbing German possession.
The Spurs striker managed to thread the ball to Welbeck despite a gaggle of Die Mannschaft attention, with the latter’s slip gifting a chance to Adam Lallana, though the Liverpool star could only lash over.
All the intent failed to pay off and Kroos, and Germany, familiarly proved far more clinical than their guests. The German playmaker pounced on the counter, after Butland blundered a clearance having seemingly strained and injured himself.
Sleek Kroos glided unchallenged through a rather open England midfield, appearing to notice the opposition stopper’s struggles before taking a potshot from distance that coolly nestled low in the left corner to give the Germans a 1-0 lead.
Fraser Forster was called on as Butland exited on a stretcher, and England found themselves under pressure from Joachim Low’s lads, as Reus romped into the area, picking out Gomez, who could have converted if not for a brave block by debutant Danny Rose.
Alli’s defiant display
Goal gobbler Thomas Muller forced Forster into a quick save after the interim, as Germany attempted to keep momentum, but it was clear England were angling for a counter-attack.
They got one as Alli, amazingly looking like England’s most accomplished outfield player, surged forward yet again, not at all phased by the thought of challenging the mighty Neuer from distance.
Though it was hard-working Welbeck, who strove more than Can to keep the ball in, that fed onrushing Henderson for the Three Lions’ clearest foray forward, but the Reds dynamo saw his effort deflected by Cologne left back Jonas Hector.
Gomez finally reaps rewards, Kane Cruyff-esque in starting comeback
It looked as though Roy Hodgson’s men would head home with a scoreline which failed to do them justice, as Gomez finally grabbed his goal after 67 minutes passed.
The towering forward got his head to a deftly chipped ball over the top from from Khedira and sank it simply past Forster, with Cahill and Nathaniel Clyne unable to rise high enough to thwart him.
Still, the Three Lions found the target themselves soon after, as classy Kane made a nuisance from himself at a haplessly cleared corner, seizing on the ball and making as if to race away, before completing his own interpretation of a Cruyff turn and slotting smoothly past Neuer and cheekily through the legs of Can. It was to be a turning point.
Vardy vision levels the field
The bountiful football continued in Berlin, as voracious super sub Vardy gave travelling fans something to truly sing about with a lethal 74th minute leveller.
Continuing his sparkling form for club Leicester City, the lightning forward flashed across the face of goal, expertly burying a backheel after Clyne and fellow sub Ross Barkley had combined swiftly down the right flank.
The fairytale then looked set to continue, as the ferocious Foxes forward fed an otherwise exemplary Alli and presented the youngster with an open goal and shot at the winner, but the young-gun uncharacteristically blazed toward the heavens – a wayward finish that will surely give him nightmares.
Alli was not to fear, however, as Tottenham midfield partner and unlikely goal hero Dier sprang from a late corner to crack a buller header past a stunned German defence, saving the day with his first international goal and handing the Three Lions fledglings a memorable win over the world champions.