Germany will not add a continental title to their FIFA World Cup crown after suffering a 2-0 defeat to hosts France in the UEFA EURO 2016 semi-final.
Germany 0-2 France
Goals: 0-1 Griezmann (pen., 45+2), 0-2 Griezmann (72’)
Amid a rocking atmosphere at the Stade Velodrome, Germany made the early running. Thomas Müller and Julian Draxler looked bright, and although Antoine Griezmann drew a good save from Manuel Neuer in the seventh minute, the majority of the game was being played in the France half.
Emre Can and Bastian Schweinsteiger both tested Hugo Lloris as Germany monopolised possession, forcing France ever deeper. Samuel Umtiti produced a fine block to deny Müller, but the hosts began to show signs of life before the interval, with Benedikt Höwedes forced into a brilliant last-ditch tackle on Olivier Giroud, before Griezmann placed his penalty – awarded for a Schweinsteiger handball – high past Neuer with the last kick of the half.
Stunned, Germany started the second half slowly and Jerome Boateng blocked a shot from Griezmann as France asked plenty of questions. The German defence stood firm, though, and Draxler and Mesut Özil began to move the ball faster.
Umtiti had to be at his best to clear several wicked deliveries from the former, but France effectively ended German dreams in the 72nd minute when Griezmann capitalised on defensive confusion to poke past Neuer.
Joshua Kimmich hit the post two minutes later, while Draxler and substitute Leroy Sane also came close, but their efforts were in vain as France held on to move into Sunday's UEFA EURO 2016 final against Portugal.
Man of the match
Höwedes was inspired in defence and a constant threat from set-pieces. The FC Schalke 04 man may have ended on the losing side, but he can be proud of his efforts tonight and throughout the tournament.
Once the disappointment fades, Germany and FC Bayern München fans will begin to worry about the fitness of Boateng. Taken off in pain with an apparent thigh injury, the centre-back enjoyed a fine tournament and will hope to return as quickly as possible to Bundesliga action in 2016/17.
- Germany enjoyed 65 percent of possession.
- Joachim Löw's side completed an astounding 639 passes to France’s 297.
- Griezmann has now scored six goals at UEFA EURO 2016; only Michel Platini – who scored nine times in 1984 – has scored more in a EURO final tournament.
France: Lloris (c) - Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra - Pogba, Matuidi – Payet (Kante, 71’), Griezmann (Cabaye, 90+2’), Sissoko – Giroud (Gignac, 77’)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Germany: Neuer - Kimmich, Höwedes, Boateng (Mustafi, 61’), Hector – Schweinsteiger (c) (Sane, 79’), Can (Götze, 67’) - Özil, Kroos, Draxler – Müller
Coach: Joachim Löw