To Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports and Soccer Writer
In the final game before the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, England were completely beaten by Germany for 71 minutes.
From the opening whistle at London’s iconic Wembley Stadium on Monday, the Three Lions’ old foes were everywhere. For most of this high-profile UEFA Nations League group stage finale, Germany seemed destined to end it all, exacerbating England’s misery at the same time in the competition. There is realistic hope that Gareth Southgate’s team, half a century from now and two months after him, can actually contend for his first World Cup title.
England then took the lead with three goals in the second half 12 minutes. They eventually equalized for Germany after a late error by goalkeeper Nick Pope to settle for a 3-3 draw, but Three Lions fans said the fight back would see England clinch the world title this fall. I have no doubt that you will have a newfound conviction that you can realistically aspire to
Here are three quick thoughts on Monday’s contest.
England finally stop bleeding
The Southgate team couldn’t afford to lose this game. But for most of Monday’s contest, that seemed like the most likely outcome. As has happened in the last five games (none of them won), England’s attack was no match. They created several half-chances early on Monday, forcing two good stops from German keeper Mark-André ter Stegen.
But that was about it.
So when we got two more visitors in the second half, it seemed like it was all over. In Germany’s first goal, central defender Harry Maguire, who has been the subject of much discussion in the British tabloids in recent days for being in the center of the English defense, was attacked and gave the ball, Jamal. – Added a penalty to Musiara. İlkay Gündoğan sent his kick right in the spot and dodged Pope.
In the second, a completely unmarked Kai Havertz received a pass from former Chelsea team-mate Timo Werner and threw a perfect curling shot into the corner.
The strike finally woke England up. Luckily it didn’t fall into a deeper pit after VAR refused to check for blatant Sterling’s shirt tag in the box, but the host finally showed a much-needed urgency. Shaw pulled one crowd back in the 71st minute and Wembley exploded when Mason Mount pulled England level just after the restart.
The hosts seemed destined to complete their unlikely comeback when Harry Kane scored on the spot with less than ten minutes remaining.
However, they were unable to strike a deal and allowed another one from Havertz before full-time. All things considered, it was an acceptable result, if not exciting at the same time.
Germany still a better team
England did minimal at home in the World Cup send-off, but Germany had to kick themselves afterwards. It was a great team. They probably should have won it. The visitors enjoyed his 60 per cent possession, even though England were desperately chasing the game for the last 23 minutes.
After starting the flick era undefeated for a year, Dai Manschaft drew and lost in the last two tune-ups before Qatar. It concerns four-time champions who have been drawn into one of the toughest groups at this World Cup, alongside Spain, Japan and Costa Rica.
But in Germany, it would be better if things were worse now than in November, right? No one doubts the quality of Flick’s player pool. Based on all the recent evidence, it seems better suited for deep runs in Qatar than its historical rivals.
How far can the Three Lions go in Qatar?
For the first time since reaching the final of last summer’s European Championship, England looked, accurately or not, really capable of competing with the kind of teams they see as equals.
Please give credit to Southgate and his players. When things looked at their grimest, England summoned the determination that had been missing in his first five games of a disastrous Nations League campaign, and what came out of a match that looked almost lost with less than 20 minutes remaining. I was able to get
Of course, the real test for England is yet to come. After reaching the World Cup semi-finals four years ago and losing on penalties to Italy in the Euro final at home last summer, Italian fans know that 2022 will be the year they finally break their half-century trophyless streak. I want to believe that it will be
This time England were not as bad as before. There is certainly something to build on there. But there’s also no real reason to think this is the team that will rise to the top of its glory months from now. There must be a creeping suspicion that the window for winning the World Cup is already closed.
One of North America’s leading football journalists, Doug McIntyre has covered the US men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. He was a staff writer at ESPN and Yahoo Sports before joining FOX Sports in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @ByDoug McIntyre.
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