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Germany Overwhelms Scotland in Euro 2024 Opener with a 5-1 Victory

Germany Overwhelms Scotland in Euro 2024 Opener with a 5-1 Victoryillustration

's commanding 5-1 victory over Scotland in the Euro 2024 opener on Friday has revitalized home fans and validated coach Julian Nagelsmann's strategies. In the role for less than a year, Nagelsmann has evidently found the right formula for a team that has struggled in major tournaments since their 2014 Cup triumph.

The match showcased a blend of Germany's historic strengths and future potential, particularly in their first two goals. The first goal emerged from a long pass by Toni Kroos, expertly controlled by Joshua Kimmich, who then set up Florian Wirtz to score with a precise sidefoot shot.

Germany's second goal was crafted by captain Ilkay Gundogan, who delivered a delicate pass through the Scottish defense to Kai Havertz. Havertz then held up the ball and found Jamal Musiala, who powered a shot into the top corner of the net.

"We couldn't have had a better start. We've seen the atmosphere in the country, and we need that," Musiala remarked on Germany's impressive start.

Pre-tournament expectations for Germany were subdued following their early exits from the last three major tournaments. However, they began this tournament with their largest victory in Euros history. Germany dominated the first half, which concluded disastrously for Scotland when defender Ryan Porteous was sent off and Havertz converted the ensuing penalty.

In the second half, substitutes Niclas Füllkrug and Emre Can compounded Scotland's woes with additional goals. Scotland, who hadn't registered a shot on goal throughout the match, managed a late consolation when a ball deflected off German defender Antonio Rüdiger into the net.

“The first 20 minutes were very impressive. The first goals were very good," commented Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann. "It's very valuable that many players performed well early on. It was only the first step but a very good one and we can build on this. We're very happy.”

Scotland, needing to improve against Hungary and to advance from Group A, will look to recover from this heavy defeat. Coach Steve Clarke acknowledged the team's poor performance, saying, “Difficult night. We didn't play to our standard. The German team were excellent. We feel as though we've let ourselves down. We're better than that. Hopefully we can show that in the next two games.”

The Tartan Army of Scottish supporters began the match in full voice, but their enthusiasm was dampened early on. Wirtz scored in the 10th minute after Kroos found Kimmich, who set up Wirtz for the finish, making Wirtz Germany's youngest Euros goal-scorer at 21.

Musiala, 67 days older than Wirtz, doubled Germany's lead nine minutes later following a neat interplay with Havertz. Right before halftime, Scottish goalkeeper Angus Gunn parried a header from Gundogan, but the captain was fouled by Porteous, resulting in a red card for Porteous and a penalty, which Havertz converted.

In the second half, Germany's substitutes added to the score. Füllkrug, who had been on the pitch for just five minutes, scored with a powerful strike. Scotland's consolation came when Kieran McKenna's header deflected off Rüdiger into the goal. Emre Can, a last-minute addition to the squad, scored Germany's fifth in stoppage time, curling a shot into the net.

“A great feeling and a crazy story ... I was on vacation two days ago,” Can told ZDF. “Then the call came on Wednesday, and on Wednesday evening I met up with the team, trained once yesterday, came in today (off the bench), scored a goal. I'm thankful to Julian (Nagelsmann) and the whole coaching staff that they put their trust in me.”

The match also paid tribute to late German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer, with a capacity crowd that included German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Scotland First Minister John Swinney, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Germany will face Hungary next on Wednesday, while Scotland will play against Switzerland.

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