BORUSSIA-PARK hosts Germany friendly win ahead of EURO 2024

One week before the 2024 European Championships in Germany get underway, the national team beat Greece 2-1 at BORUSSIA-PARK in their final friendly before the tournament.

The sun was shining, the atmosphere was electric, the temperature was warm, the stadium was full, and Germany went home victorious. The ninth Germany international at BORUSSIA-PARK may well serve as a taste of how EURO 2024 will go, and it certainly cranked up the excitement even more. That’s because it had everything that those of a Germany persuasion will be looking for in the opening game on home soil against Scotland on Friday (14th June).

Reitz with a ‘world-class experience’ despite not being in the squad

Even the fact that Borussia youngster Rocco Reitz was not included in the 26-man squad for the game in Mönchengladbach couldn’t put a damper on the crowd’s spirits. Reitz had trained with the squad over the last two weeks and was on the bench for the 0-0 draw against Ukraine on Monday. During the week, Reitz raved about his first few days with the senior team and described it as a ‘world-class experience’. “It’s amazing to both see the big stars in training and get to know them off the pitch. There’s so much pressure and scrutiny on you too. It’s like another world,” he said in an interview with the DFB.

On the pitch, the 45,488 fans at a sold-out BORUSSIA-PARK saw an often slow-moving encounter in the first half, where Greece were the more dangerous side. After Manuel Neuer had initially denied the visitors the opener, Giorgos Masouras pounced on the rebound to the goalkeepers’ save to put his side ahead in the 34th minute. Germany went on the hunt for an equaliser before the break, but, apart from an offside ‘goal’ from Kai Havertz in the 43rd minute, couldn’t find the net.

Hosts turn game around amid pulsating atmosphere

After half time, Germany piled on the pressure in search of a goal. They got their reward for this in the 56th minute, when Havertz struck an equaliser on the turn. Head coach Julian Nagelsmann’s side remained on top afterwards and tested the Greek defence again and again. Driven forward by the crowd, Germany pushed for the winning goal in the final phases and finally found it through a stunning strike from Pascal Groß. The midfielder netted a half volley from around 17 yards out in the 89th minute. This was the perfect end to the final friendly before EURO 2024 gets underway. The team were then warmly applauded off the pitch by the BORUSSIA-PARK faithful.

Germany and their fans can only hope that a friendly at BORUSSIA-PARK might turn out to be a good omen ahead of a major tournament once more – as it was before the 2006 and 2014 World Cups. On 2nd June 2006, they defeated Colombia 3-0 ahead of another tournament on home soil, and went on to finish third after a captivating run. Then, after a 2-2 draw against Cameroon in their penultimate game ahead of the 2014 World Cup, Germany went all the way to lift the trophy in Brazil. Ten years later, it’s high time for a friendly at BORUSSIA-PARK to be the starting point ahead of becoming European champions.

Germany national team matches at BORUSSIA-PARK:

  • 8th June 2005: Germany – Russia 2-2
  • 2nd June 2006: Germany – Colombia 3-0
  • 15th October 2008: Germany – Wales 1-0
  • 29th March 2011: Germany – Australia 1-2
  • 1st June 2014: Germany – Cameroon 2-2
  • 31st August 2016: Germany – Finland 2-0
  • 16th November 2019: Germany – Belarus 4-0
  • 14th June 2022: Germany – Italy 5-2
  • 7th June 2024: Germany – Greece 2-1
Despite not being in the squad, Rocco Reitz is in high spirits after his two weeks with the senior team.

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