Germany ends winless run with morale-boosting victory over France
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Germany beat World Cup runner-up France 2-1 in a friendly on Tuesday, two days after Hansi Flick was removed as coach, to lift some of the gloom around the team hosting the European Championship next year.
Thomas Muller scored early on and Leroy Sane added a second on a late counterattack, ending the run of five winless games — most recently a 4-1 loss to Japan — which led to Hansi Flick being ousted Sunday. The search is on for a new permanent coach ahead of games against the United States and Mexico next month.
Against France, Germany was coached by a three-person caretaker team including sporting director Rudi Voller. He was Germany's coach when it reached the 2002 World Cup final but hadn't taken charge of any game for 18 years.
France had not conceded a goal in five games since losing the World Cup final to Argentina last year, but Germany scored in just the fourth minute. Muller, brought back to the squad by Flick last week for the first time this year, controlled Benjamin Henrichs' cross and hammered the ball past goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
France could have had a penalty when Antonio Rudiger appeared to shove Randal Kolo Muani to the ground in the penalty area in the 20th, but the referee opted not to give it. Aurelien Tchouameni had chances to score with two first-half headers at corners and a low shot in the 57th which was saved.
Sane made it 2-0 on a swift counter in the 87th but almost immediately gave away a penalty for a foul on Eduardo Camavinga. Antoine Griezmann converted the spot-kick.
On a night when Germany far surpassed expectations, there was concern over its captain, Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who went off injured in the 25th after falling awkwardly in an aerial challenge.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
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