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Musiala Shines as Germany Secures Knockout Spot in Euro 2024

Musiala Shines as Germany Secures Euro 2024 Knockout Spot

Jamal Musiala continued his impressive form, scoring again as Germany secured a 2-0 victory over Hungary to become the first team to advance to the Euro 2024 knockout stages. The Bayern Munich forward dazzled throughout the match, netting midway through the first half and nearly adding another with a powerful effort that narrowly missed the post. He received a standing ovation when substituted late in the second half.

Hungary’s players were frustrated with Musiala’s opener, claiming a foul by Ilkay Gundogan on defender Willi Orban before the midfielder set up Musiala to fire into the net. However, a video assistant referee (VAR) check upheld the on-field decision, and Musiala celebrated with his teammates in front of the Hungarian supporters.

Hungary nearly equalized on the stroke of halftime, but Roland Sallai’s rebound header was ruled offside. Germany extended their lead in the second half when Gundogan, left unmarked, comfortably slotted past goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.

Following their dominant 5-1 win over Scotland, Germany faced a more challenging match against Hungary, who defended resolutely and created several scoring opportunities. Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai posed a threat with his set-piece deliveries, forcing a save from Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with a curling free-kick. Szoboszlai came close again in the first half, but his shot was blocked by Jonathan Tah.

Despite Hungary’s efforts, Germany’s performance was encouraging. They displayed creativity and control, securing their second victory in as many games. With six points from their opening two matches, Germany is guaranteed a spot in the last 16 and will clinch the top spot in Group A if they avoid defeat against Switzerland in Frankfurt on Sunday.

Hungary, on the other hand, faces an uphill battle after losing to Switzerland in their opener. They need to beat Scotland to have any chance of progressing. Hungary’s coach Marco Rossi expressed frustration with the officiating, claiming double standards from the referee and a lack of intervention from VAR.

“Germany would have won anyway because they were better, but the referee was the worst on the pitch,” said Rossi.

Hungary showed significant improvement from their previous match, with Szoboszlai leading the charge and creating numerous chances. However, they could not find the equalizer and now face a daunting task to stay in the tournament.

Germany managed the second half well, maintaining control and relying on the experience of players like Toni Kroos. The defensive partnership between Antonio Rudiger and Tah continued to strengthen, with Neuer making three crucial saves to preserve the clean sheet. Joshua Kimmich also made a critical goalline clearance in the 90th minute.

Germany’s fans celebrated passionately, waving flags and cheering until the final whistle. Manager Julian Nagelsmann praised the atmosphere and the support from fans, expressing optimism for the team’s prospects.

“The atmosphere is amazing. There was a fan march passing our hotel. There are so many people supporting us,” Nagelsmann said. “We want to win every game, and if we do that, we will be first in the group. I’m happy with the result. It was a tough game.”

While the performance was not as free-flowing as their opening match against 10-man Scotland, it was a solid showing at this stage of the competition. In 21-year-old Musiala, Germany has one of Europe’s most outstanding talents, raising hopes for a deep run in the tournament on home soil.

Credit: BBC Sport

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