This victory definitely ensures that the Mannschaft will remain in the League A of Nations, and Joachim Löw’s men will only need a draw on Tuesday in Seville against La Roja to secure first place in the group and qualify for the Final-4 next fall.
“It was a very difficult game,” said Munich’s Léon Goretzka, author of two assists, “in our current situation, we absolutely need wins, we did it and it was therefore a good evening” .
Despite the absence of its two sacred midfield monsters, Toni Kroos (suspended) and Joshua Kimmich (injured), Germany has regained against Ukraine the collective balance that it had often lacked in matches of this fall, and sparked criticism of manager Joachim Löw.
In attack, the coach was able to align for the first time in two years together the magic trio Timo Werner / Serge Gnabry / Leroy Sané, and the three accomplices made their class speak.
Yet it was Ukraine that opened the scoring. Taking advantage of a mess of the German defense and a poorly cleared ball, Roman Yaremchuk nailed a ball ten meters into the skylight of Manuel Neuer (1-0, 12th). The Bayern goalkeeper equaled the selection record for a German goalkeeper this Saturday, with 95 capes, up to the legendary Sepp Maier, 1974 world champion.
“We were missing a few players today, and we struggled to find our rhythm, but we have enough time before the Euro to improve,” said double scorer Timo Werner.
Sané quickly equalized: launched against by Leon Goretzka, who had nabbed a ball in midfield, the Bayern striker slipped between two defenders in the area to trigger and place a lightning strike, unstoppable for the goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov (1-1, 23rd).
Ten minutes later, the same Goretzka served magnificently in the six meters Timo Werner, who placed an angry header closely (2-1, 33rd). Werner did it again after the hour mark, taking without control, in his characteristic scoring style, a cross from Matthias Ginter on the penalty spot.
Gnabry, the man with 14 goals in 16 caps, was for once less happy. His openings in the back of the defense for his partners gave nothing, and his attempts at goal were either countered (60th) or off target (61st).
In defense, against a Ukraine that defended very low and sought to project quickly forward, the Germans have not repeated their mistakes from recent matches. The gaps between the middle and the three-way defense have this time been closed, Citizen Ilkay Gündogan delivering a good performance in the defensive midfielder.
Saturday during the day, the match seemed threatened for a few hours, after the positive Covid-19 test of four Ukrainian players and a member of the staff on Friday evening.
But tests carried out on Saturday did not reveal any other cases, and UEFA confirmed the meeting will be held on Saturday afternoon.