Germany under pressure after Dutch debacle

Afp, Hamburg

9 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Joachim Loew has demanded a reaction from his young Germany team against Group C leaders Northern Ireland on Monday after their recent resurgence was cut short by their Euro 2020 qualifying 4-2 defeat to the Netherlands.

Having come into the international break on a wave of optimism, Loew’s side now travel to Belfast on Monday needing a win to keep their qualification campaign on course against a Northern Irish side yet to drop a point in four qualifying matches.

“We need to win, we need to approach the game in such a way that we leave the pitch as winners,” said Loew on Friday. Germany had just begun to find their feet after a long period of recovery from their disastrous campaign at last year’s World Cup.

The group stage exit in Russia prompted a major generational overhaul, and after three wins in a row in 2019, Loew’s new-look young team were full of confidence ahead of Friday’s game.

Victory over the Dutch would have put second-placed Germany nine points clear of their rivals and left Germany on the brink of automatic qualification. Instead, they now find themselves only three points above the play-off place, having played a game more than the Netherlands.