Euro 2020: An ageing squad, a departing coach, the group of death… but you still can’t write off the Germans

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Germany’s Thomas Mueller and Antonio Ruediger, right, celebrate after the Euro 2020 championship Group F win over Portugal at the football arena stadium in Munich. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Never underestimate the Germans. Even when you think they don’t stand a chance, they always seem to find a way to prove everyone wrong. Written off after their opening game defeat against France, they produced a sensational response to their doubters against Portugal tonight.

They finally clicked into gear but needed two first half own goals to get their noses in front after Ronaldo had given the European champions an early lead and extend his all-time tournament record to 12 goals.

Defenders Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro gave Germany the initiative by putting through their own net in a thrilling first half. And it got better in the second half as Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens grabbed two more before Diogo Jota got one back but it ended 4-2.

The 90 minutes went by in an absolute flash – this Group F clash was littered with incidents and has to be the most entertaining match of the tournament yet. Germany looked totally bereft of a cutting edge against France but were razor sharp tonight.

Serious contenders?

We all felt Joachin Low’s side were in trouble after their opening game defeat against the World Champions but the three-times European champions shrugged off that 1-0 loss and announced their arrival to the tournament in fine style. Are they serious contenders at Euro 2020? It is hard to tell and we shouldn’t get too excited by their demolition of a highly-rated Portuguese team that had its moments, but boy was that impressive.

They began the match with far more purpose than they did against France and were unfortunate to have an early lead wiped off by VAR and when Ronaldo put Portugal ahead, some thought German heads would drop. But it had the opposite effect. It seemed to rouse them into action but to take the lead thanks to two own goals was bizarre.

So having lost their opener and coach Low being slammed for not knowing his best team, certain players targeted for being well passed it and their attack struggling to find the back of the net, Germany are fighting on. Was there really ever any doubt?