Euro 2016: Germany brush aside Slovakia 3-0 and progress into the quarter-finals
The Germans made light work of their opponents as Draxler produced a man of the match performance
Germany ran rings around Slovakia in a dominant display as they secured passage to the quarter-finals of the Euros with a straightforward win. Jerome Boateng and Mario Gomez scored either side of an Ozil penalty miss in the first half.
Julian Draxler who was the best player on the pitch by a country mile got Germany’s 3rd volleying it into the roof of the net and capping a wonderful performance.
Germany XI (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Kroos, Khedira; Müller, Özil, Draxler; Gomez.
Slovakia XI (4-5-1): Kozacvik; Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Huboan; Kucka, Pecovsky, Mak, Hamsik, Weiss; Duda.
Germany irresistible as Slovakia struggle to cope
Germany came into the game as clear favourites and Slovakia were really up against it. Joachim Loew decided to drop Mario Goetze to the bench and brought in Julian Draxler and back into the starting lineup.
The game started with great intensity as Germany looked threatening. They went into an early lead in the 8th minute through an unlikely scorer. Kroos delivered a corner into the box that was only cleared partially and Boateng made a pure connection with the dropping ball rifling it into the bottom left corner. It did take a slight deflection on the way and maybe the keeper might have saved it.
Four minutes later the Germans had the chance to extend their lead as Gomez was fouled by Skrtel in the box. The referee pointed to the spot as Mesut Ozil stepped up to take it. But his effort was not a very good one, leaning back he shot to his right and Kozacvik made a comfortable save.
Ozil went close again a few minutes later, his first time shot from Gomez’s headed layoff zipped just wide off the far post. Slovakia had their best chance of the first half when Pekarik put in a cross from the right and Kucka rose highest to power a header which Neuer tipped over acrobatically.
Slovakia would regret not making better use of that chance because in the very next minute Germany were 2-0 up. Julian Draxler bamboozled one defender with a step over made a run to the by-line and cut it back for Gomez who had a simple tap-in.
All-round Draxler puts icing on the cake
Slovakia trailing in the game tried to start the second half more positively, testing Neuer in the opening minutes. Hamsik laid it off for Kucka to have a shot from the edge of the box but his powerful drive was anticipated well by the Munich man making a smart stop.
Meanwhile, Draxler was still dazzling and dizzying the Slovakian defence and he finally got the crowning glory. In the 63rd minute, Kroos sent in the corner and the defenders failed to clear the lines. The ball fell kindly to Draxler and he thundered in a close-range volley into the roof of the net to make it 3-0.
Two of their goalscorers Draxler and Boateng came off for Lukas Podolski and Benedikt Howedes as Loew decided to rest his key men with the result firmly in the bag. The Germans had the chance to extend their lead as Kroos missed a golden opportunity to make it four, but all in all Germany laid down a marker in the tournament with this performance.
They will face either Spain or Italy in the quarterfinals