D.he “one or the other goal” was given by Joachim Löw to his players as the goal of the day on the way. It sounded hard enough after the first impressions at this European Championship. But when the ball was in the Portuguese net for the fifth time on Saturday evening, after just an hour, one could say from the perspective of the German national soccer team: Mission accomplished.
Even if the first hit was canceled due to offside and the Portuguese gave the last kick in the direction of the goal in the two following ones before Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens did it themselves: The overwhelming mixture of force and will with which the Germans Throwing themselves into this game and giving it the right direction spread a feeling of wonderful refreshment among the fans in the Munich arena on a muggy summer evening.
Could it have been the first chapter of a new little summer fairy tale? That would be premature, after all, the last step towards the knockout round still has to be taken, also against Hungary on Wednesday in Munich. And as vigorous as the German team presented itself over long stretches: a touch of vulnerability still wafts around them – to be seen at 0: 1, when the Germans were so kind to offer their glass chins to the Portuguese after their own corner, or at 2: 4th
The greatest doubts have been removed
But it was without a doubt an evening in which the sparks flew and jumped: The one from the pitch to the audience – you have to go back a long way in recent international football history to find a game in which the team impressed their audience in a similar way. And the reason for this: in the team itself.
The same starting eleven as against France – Löw didn’t want to throw what he had come up with so quickly. Conversely, that also meant: After the A-sample on Tuesday against the world champion, which was largely rated as unsuccessful, the Löw and the Germans could not afford a dubious B-sample. They approached the game accordingly, ready for any attack, with five men lurking in the front line – nobody will say any longer that the 3-4-3 system cannot provide enough offensive power.
After the greatest doubts, perhaps even some of your own, have been eliminated, it will be exciting to see which path Löw and his team are going to take: the playful refinement and increasingly effective automatisms, the search for the combined solution, how to do it from the past knows.
Or whether they take a different path: The sheer force of this overwhelming football, fed by energy, individual quality and also a good portion of the ability to suffer, has already sent the highly traded Portuguese on the boards – and the competition in football Europe should also be this German transformation with some Have seen amazement.