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Wirtz scores Germany's fastest-ever goal in morale-boosting win over France

Stefan Matzke - sampics / Corbis Sport / Getty

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LYON, France (AP) — Toni Kroos returned and Florian Wirtz scored the fastest Germany goal ever as they defeated France 2-0 in their friendly on Saturday.

Kroos, coaxed out of international retirement for the upcoming European Championship, wasted no time with a precise pass for Wirtz, who let fly from outside the penalty area to score after seven seconds.

The German soccer federation said it was the quickest goal ever scored in a national team game. The previous best was nine seconds by Lukas Podolski in a 2013 win over Ecuador.

Kai Havertz made it 2-0 after the break and Antonio Rudiger produced a late goal-line clearance as the smiles returned to the German national team.

France, in contrast, was whistled derisively by the home fans at fulltime.

It was Germany's second consecutive win over France, but only its third win in 11 games, giving Julian Nagelsmann's team a timely boost before they host Euro 2024 this summer.

Stuttgart's Maximilian Mittelstadt started for his debut at left back and Bayer Leverkusen's Robert Andrich also impressed in just his second Germany game.

Germany showed bite and commitment as the visitors bossed the opening 20 minutes before Marcus Thuram fired the first French chance over. More followed. Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied France captain Kylian Mbappe the best opportunity in a one on one as the Germans withstood the pressure for the rest of the half.

Kroos was again involved in the second goal, combining with Mittelstadt at the back before Wirtz sent the ball to Jamal Musiala, who rounded the goalkeeper and cut the ball back for Havertz to score in the 49th.

Ousmane Dembele flashed a shot wide of the far post in response, but the French were unable to exert the same pressure as before.


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