October 3, 2022

Germany drew the UEFA Nations League again, with both teams scoring in the opening ten minutes. Hungary opened the party in the sixth minute. After a clumsy clearance from Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, Zsolt Nagy was able to burn the ball and pass Neuer for the opening goal. Similar to what happened in the game against Italy, Germany responded immediately. Jonas Hofmann managed to get around the keeper and level the game with just nine minutes on the clock. However, there would be no more goals and Germany took the third point in three Nations League games, making it four consecutive draws in all competitions. Here are our match rewards:

Jersey exchange: Zsolt Nagy

Not only did Nagy provide Hungary with their only goal of the match, but he also gave us the funniest part of the match. In the 62nd minute, Germany had the ball near the halfway line. Jonas Hofmann made a run off the ball – near the 18-yard penalty area – with Nagy following him. Nagy’s shoulder checked Hofmann pretty hard. Hofmann got off course pretty well, but Nagy fell to the ground seconds after contact and rolled a bit. With the ball still in midfield, the referee had to stop the game for the “injured” player. The German players were amazed, the commentators either.

The bomber: Jamal Musiala

Musiala played the role for which Thomas Müller is best known – a lofty attacking midfielder who sits behind the first line of attack. Musiala played well for the 78 minutes he saw. He made some big decisions and created a bunch of big half chances. The only reason he doesn’t get credit for better play is the lack of connection between him and his attacking partners – Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. Maybe that’s a bit of Bayern’s bias, but in all cases of miscommunication, it appeared that Musiala had the right idea, but Werner wasn’t on the same page.

The best chance he created came late in the first half after a brilliant run into the box saw several defenders miss. He went too far but managed to find David Raum outside the box and executed him perfectly. Raum missed another man and fired for the far post, missing by inches.

Fussballgott: Leon Goretzka

The stalwart midfield duo of Kimmich and Goretzka managed to hold down the midfield. Playing together for club and country seems like a definite plus for these two. Goretzka had a game that we are all used to and can even take for granted. Although only on the pitch for 69 minutes, Goretzka was able to lock down the midfield which caused Hungary to try numerous long balls in attack. Goretzka also proved invaluable in defense as Germany played with a back-three and proper wingers. Goretzka stood in front of that defense and helped clear the ball if necessary. Nothing fancy, but he got the job done and helped Germany get a nasty point on the road.

The Kaiser: Nico Schlotterbeck

Schlotterbeck had an interesting first half. He watched from the goal line as Hungary scored their goal, instead of trying to overtake the striker. Minutes later he assisted Germany’s goal with the incredible long ball that sent Hofmann on the run. Then he gets bumped trying to get a ball out for a goal kick, all before being given a yellow for stopping a counter – which only happened because of the terrible pass from the future team-mate of the Borussia Dortmund, Niklas Sule. What a rollercoaster!

Overall, Schlotterbeck was a beast on defense, winning through the air, forcing turnovers and clearing the lines. These clearances weren’t just random bullets in the air, either. They were great balls that opened up Hungary and allowed the German attack to rush over them. Fortunately, Hofmann got to the one he did and was able to score. Unfortunately, Werner met most of them and either failed to reach them or made the best decisions.

Master of the match: Jonas Hofmann

Hofmann seemed to be all over the German attack today. He was cool, calm and collected throughout the game, whether on the ball or being checked from forty yards off the ball. His goal was great. As mentioned, a superb through ball from Schlotterbeck sent him running towards the 18-yard box. Hungary’s Peter Gulacsi moved away from his line to clear the ball, but Hofmann took a nice touch around the Leipzig keeper. Already one-on-one with the keeper, that touch allowed Hofmann to break free in the box with no defender in sight and an open goal to shoot at.

Hofmann could have had a second goal, which probably could have been the winner. Midway through the second half, Hofmann broke Hungary’s high line, barely staying wide, and ran towards goal, with Werner just ahead of him. A Hungarian defender caught up and the keeper came out. A well-placed shot could have made it 2-1, but Hofmann tried to drop Werner instead. The ball was deflected for a corner, ending the offensive opportunity. But overall a good day for Hofmann as Hansi Flick looks to solidify his World Cup roster.