An annoying penalty cost Hansi Flick his first win against a big opponent on his return to Munich. In the 1:1 (0:0) in the classic against England, the extremely rebuilt German national team was on course for victory for a long time on Tuesday evening thanks to Jonas Hofmann’s third international goal (51st minute). Then Nico Schlotterbeck acted unhappily against Harry Kane in the penalty area. After video evidence, England’s captain safely converted from the point against the otherwise invincible Manuel Neuer (88th).

In the second Nations League game, the German team did not only seem to be able to get revenge for the EM end a year ago against England. Despite the late equalizer, it was an important signal for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year. Flick, unbeaten even after the eleventh game as national coach, is making progress on the mission “back to the top of the world”. After the 1-1 draw in the Netherlands in March and the 1-1 draw in Italy, it was the third 1-1 in a row.

66,289 spectators in the sold-out Allianz Arena saw football at a high tactical level. The pace and intensity were right. And Gladbach’s Hofmann’s goal came from a fine combination of initiator Kai Havertz and passer Joshua Kimmich. Germany dominated after the lead, Thomas Müller missed the 2-0 (70th) after a cross from David Raum, as did substitute Timo Werner (75). Captain Neuer initially spectacularly prevented the equalizer as a strong support against Kane (76th). With two points, the DFB selection is now going into the next game on Saturday (8:45 p.m. / RTL) in Budapest against Hungary.

Flick called his starting XI conversion to seventh position “not a consequence of the Italy game”, but rather justified it as a sensible distribution of the burden. “We have four games after a long season,” said the 57-year-old ex-Bayern coach.

Nevertheless, the line-up was a sign that there is only one small untouchable axis with him, consisting of captain Manuel Neuer in goal, defense chief Antonio Rüdiger, boss six Kimmich and Thomas Müller as leader of the offensive. The newcomers to the team also brought the “intensity” that Flick missed for long stretches in the 1-1 draw against European champions Italy at the start of the Nations League.

Both teams watched and fought each other attentively. The Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande let a lot go, hardly whistled off a duel. There was hardly any space in the center of midfield. The DFB-Elf often tried the agile cross runner space.

Ilkay Gündogan was a skilled ball distributor against his Premier League colleagues. Youngster Jamal Musiala also delighted the audience with his smooth movements and courageous dribbling. But England – with ten men left from the 2-0 win of the European Championship round of 16 in Wembley a year ago – were massed and often played long balls forward. But the German defense around Rüdiger was good.

The penalty areas often remained restricted areas. When Hofmann ran alone towards England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after a long shot by Nico Schlotterbeck and scored the goal, the video assistant conceded the 1-0 for offside (23rd). Musiala shot too central into Pickford’s arms from 14 meters (45′). Neuer also had to prove his class for the first time, with the 36-year-old parrying a shot from Arsenal striker Bukayo Saka with his right fist (45.1.).

Flick’s eleven were rewarded for the more active style of play after the change of sides. Havertz playfully opened up the space in which Kimmich then found Hofmann as a passer, who crowned the fine move with his third goal in the national jersey. Pickford cut a bad figure, punching the ball past. Goalkeeper class, on the other hand, showed Germany’s number 1 a short time later when Neuer parried a powerful shot from Mason Mount with a flying insert. The game went back and forth until Schlotterbek conceded the penalty.