The crisis continues, the whistles were already ringing in the ears of the German players during the break. At the end it got a lot louder in the stadium. 50,241 spectators vented their displeasure. Even stadium announcer Oliver Forster received a whistle when he thanked the visitors for coming.
The national soccer team was also unable to win their third friendly in June. The 3:3 against Ukraine and the 0:1 in Poland were followed by a 0:2 (0:0) against Colombia in the Schalke Arena.
The disappointing team fired only one shot at the opposing goal. It is the first defeat against the South American country in the history of the German Football Association. A year before the European Championships in their own country, performance and mood have hit rock bottom.
The South Americans were the better team throughout the game, scoring through Luis Diaz (52′) and a penalty converted by Juan Cuadrado (82′). Joshua Kimmich was responsible for the penalty with a handball. The captain was initially put on the substitutes’ bench by Hansi Flick and had only been substituted on 42 seconds earlier. After just two wins from eight games, the national coach now has his back to the wall.
Despite all the oaths of loyalty from DFB sports director Rudi Völler, the public debates about Flick will not stop. After the early failure of the World Cup in Qatar, the DFB team won only one of five international matches in 2023 in a 2-0 win over Peru. EM favorites play differently. In September things will continue with two challenging home games against World Cup terror Japan and runner-up France – with Flick?
“I’ll go my own way without compromise,” Flick announced and continued to experiment with the back three and five changes compared to the Poland game (0-1) in the last international match before the summer break. This time, Dortmund’s Emre Can took over the part in the middle, with former Schalke player Malick Thiaw and Antonio Rüdiger defending at his side.
But again there was nothing to be seen of defensive stability, rather the German team acted very insecurely and downright fearful against the lively Colombians after the negative experiences. Don’t fall behind again was the motto. This also affected the offensive game, which seemed slow and sluggish. There was a lack of passion, of speed, of ideas. The EM host barely managed to create presence in the opposing penalty area. Accordingly dissatisfied, Flick tried to exert influence from the coaching zone.
There were high hopes that Champions League winner Gündogan would bring new impetus to the DFB team. But the Manchester City star also remained pale in attacking midfield. Gündogan even captained the team in his 66th international match because Joshua Kimmich slipped out of the starting XI. Jamal Musiala was the most likely to emanate creative elements, although this time the Bayern youngster, withdrawn in defensive midfield alongside Leon Goretzka, was less able to exert any influence.
The Colombians had a clear advantage in the first round. Two headers from Jerry Mina (14th) and Frankfurt’s Rafael Borré (23rd) caused the first danger. Then it got really dicey. After a bad pass from Rüdiger, Diaz was free before Thiaw prevented something worse with a strong tackle (28th). And shortly afterwards it was Marc-André ter Stegen who scratched a powerful shot from Mina over the bar (30th).
DFB sports director Rudi Völler didn’t like that at all in the stands. The 1990 world champion had to wait until just before half-time before Musiala had the first German chance to score on a pass from Havertz. Accordingly, there were some expressions of dissatisfaction from the ranks at halftime.
It didn’t get any better in the second round either. Again, the Colombians were more gripping and aggressive – and this time there was also the receipt. An unnecessary loss of ball by Can against Borré, Cuadrado crossed to Diaz, who was able to head in from a completely free position. And only four minutes later, Jhon Arias could have already made the preliminary decision, whereupon the Schalke audience finally lost patience.
Flick switched from a back three to a back four, brought in another striker in Niclas Füllkrug and took more risks. After all, that brought some offensive actions down the wings, although there were no clear scoring chances. In the final phase Kimmich came for Gündogan. Significantly, a handball by the Bayern star after a cross from Deiver Machado ensured the final knockout, Cuadrado gave ter Stegen no chance from the point.