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Germany beat Hungary, Albania shock Croatia in Euro 2024

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-20 09:29
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Jamal Musiala (1st R) of Germany scores a goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group A match between Germany and Hungary in Stuttgart, Germany on June 19, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

BERLIN -- Goals from Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan helped Germany advance into last 16 after securing the second straight win 2-0 over Hungary while Albania left it late to snatch a 2-2 stalemate with Croatia in the second round of the Euro 2024 group stage on Wednesday.

Hungary caught the better start and missed the golden chance to break the deadlock in the first minute as Germany keeper Manuel Neuer rescued Joshua Kimmich's poor return pass ahead of Rolland Sallai.

Germany came close with ten minutes played when Kai Havertz danced through Hungary's defence before testing goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi from a promising position.

Gulacsi was hapless though ten minute later after Willi Orban fumbled the ball inside his own box, allowing Gundogan to set up for Musiala, who finished the job to become the first player to score two goals at Euro 2024.

Hungary pressed frenetically for the equalizer, but Neuer was equal to Dominik Szoboszlai's free kick at the half-hour mark before the striker got another dangerous effort blocked by Germany defender Jonathan Tah moments later.

Marco Rossi's men thought they had restored parity but for all that the VAR ruled Sallai's goal offside just before the break.

After the restart, Germany remained in control, but Hungary still looked dangerous as Barnabas Varga headed narrowly wide after a pinpoint cross from Sallai at the hour mark.

The tournament hosts eventually put the win beyond doubt in the 67th minute when Maximilian Mittelstadt square pass into the box found Gundogan, who tapped home the 2-0 lead.

Julian Nagelsmann's boys continued to look powerful but neither joker Leroy Sane nor Niclas Fullkrug couldn't add more goals to the lead.

"On this level, you must remain stable. Hungary is a very uncomfortable opponent, but we remained stable in most situations. You must win a match like this first, and we managed to do that," said Nagelsmann.

With the win, Germany stay atop the standings of Group A with two wins from as many games followed by Switzerland, Scotland and Hungary.

Players of Croatia greet the fans after the UEFA Euro 2024 Group B match between Croatia and Albania in Hamburg, Germany on June 19, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

In the other Group A encounter, Switzerland clinched a 1-1 with Scotland draw by courtesy of Xherdan Shaqiri's fierce effort into the top left corner.

In Group B, Albania's Klaus Gjasula stunned Croatia with a late 2-2 equalizer. Albania opened the scoring through Qazim Laci before Croatia's Andrej Kramaric levelled the score. Gjasula's own goal helped Croatia to turn things around, but the Darmstadt midfielder remained in the thick of things after marking the 2-2 in the injury time.

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