Match report from Munich where Harry Kane's late penalty cancels out Jonas Hofmann's opener to earn England point against Germany in UEFA Nations League; Kane becomes second England player to hit 50-goal mark; England, bottom of Group A3, host Italy at Molineux on Saturday
Wednesday 8 June 2022 07:48, UK
Harry Kane’s 50th international goal guided England to a 1-1 draw in Germany and their first Nations League point of the campaign.
After Saturday's defeat in Hungary, England were staring at successive Nations League defeats when Jonas Hofmann's second-half strike took Germany to within three minutes of victory of the Allianz Arena in Munich.
But, after a VAR review, Nico Schlotterbeck's clumsy trip on Kane presented the England captain with a late penalty which he ruthlessly dispatched past Manuel Neuer to move to within three goals of Wayne Rooney's 53-goal record.
England stay bottom of Nations League Group A3 with one point from their opening two games but, having avoided back-to-back competitive defeats for the first time since 2014 World Cup, Gareth Southgate's side can carry the momentum of this comeback into Saturday's reunion with Euro 2020 conquerors Italy at Molineux.
Germany: Neuer (7), Schlotterbeck (5), Rudiger (7), Klostermann (7), Hofmann (7), Gundogan (6), Kimmich (8), Raum (7), Muller (7), Musiala (8), Havertz (7).
Subs: Sane (6), Werner (6), Gnabry (6), Goretzka (6).
England: Pickford (5), Walker (6), Maguire (6), Stones (6), Trippier (6), Phillips (6), Rice (7), Saka (6), Mount (6), Sterling (5), Kane (7).
Subs: Bellingham (8), Grealish (7), Bowen (7).
Man of the Match: Joshua Kimmich
Southgate fielded the most-experienced XI of his England tenure in Munich, though that was not immediately apparent. The visitors creaked under the intensity and precision of Germany's pressing and would have conceded the opening goal inside three minutes had Kyle Walker not been on hand to prevent Thomas Muller turning in Antonio Rudiger's near-post flick from a corner.
Kane drew Neuer into his first save with a speculative long-range drive soon after before Germany had the ball in the England net when Muller lobbed over the stranded Jordan Pickford, but with Kalvin Phillips down injured in the build-up, the goal was not allowed to stand.
That stoppage marked the end of Phillips' involvement, with his first England start of 2022 lasting a disappointing 14 minutes after he succumbed to the dead leg sustained in an early collision with Schlotterbeck.
English jitters persisted in Phillips' absence, and Germany nearly took full advantage. With Harry Maguire far too tight to Kai Havertz and eventually hauling him to ground, a long ball released Hofmann through on goal where he finished with aplomb, but his blushes were spared when the offside flag came to England's rescue.
Having seen the ball hit the back of their net on two occasions, England finally began mustering a response and should have taken the lead on 26 minutes. Kieran Trippier's corner found Kane unmarked in the Germany area but, with the goal at his mercy, he blazed over the bar.
Musiala nearly capped his inspired first-half performance on the stroke of half-time with a volley from the edge of box which sailed straight into the arms of Pickford, before Bukayo Saka stung the palms of Neuer and whistled a curled effort inches wide in the first-half stoppage-time.
It took Germany all of five second-half minutes to hammer home their superiority as an excellently-worked move saw Joshua Kimmich thread Hofmann into acres of space amidst the stretched England defence, and his forceful shot breached the defences of Pickford, who was unable to get a strong enough hand to the ball to keep it out.
Mason Mount tried to produce an instant response for England, but Neuer was a match to his rasping 20-yard drive. Pickford was then upon twice to prevent Germany from away with the game and more than atoning for his role him Germany's opener as he superbly denied Muller with an outstretched arm before substitute Timo Werner was prevented from adding a second on the counter.
The introduction of Jack Grealish galvanised the visiting attack and Kane thought he had hauled England level on 76 minutes when he latched onto the Manchester City forward's drilled cross, but a stunning sprawling save from Neuer diverted the ball wide.
Substitute Jarrod Bowen almost laid on an equaliser for Sterling but his brilliant cross was somehow turned wide by Lukas Klostermann in the dying stages. But when referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande pointed to the spot after Schlotterbeck bundled Kane over moments later, he dusted himself down and scored as the German defensive effort eventually baulked.
England captain Harry Kane:
"It was really important to show the mentality and even going 1-0 behind, it showed good character from us, away from home, to come back into the game and get a result.
We were playing against a very good Germany side, and it shows where we are. We still have to make improvements but we are working hard, and the World Cup will be here before we know it so we have to keep doing well.
"I love scoring goals, I have always loved scoring goals, especially for my country, so whenever I can help my team, that is the most important thing.
"Good to bounce back tonight, not an easy place to come and now we have two games at home to try and get two important wins."
England manager Gareth Southgate: "To respond in the way they did was fantastic, I thought in the balance of the overall game it was well deserved.
"It's an important sign for them as much as anything - of course for everybody else watching, but when you're in a team, this group, with still seven or eight who got us to a World Cup semi-final, that's why those players are so important to us because that core of the team put their bodies on the line for each other and on nights like that you have to do that to get a result.
"With the quality we had on show, we thought we had to raise the bar. We could see the game was there for us when we got the ball the other side of their midfield, we were in business. In the second half, we started a little bit slowly out of possession. We weren't aggressive enough with our pressure and conceded."
Germany head coach Hansi Flick: "I think Schlotterbeck didn't even see Kane coming. He was watching in a completely different direction. I spoke to the referee after the game and had a lively discussion but it is something you just have to grin and bear it - it is a decision, full stop."
The resumption of the Nations League sees England host Euro 2020 conquerors Italy at Molineux and Germany travel to Hungary on Saturday at 7.45pm.