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Turkey Stuns Germany 3-2 in Nagelsmann's Debut Amid Defensive Concerns

 Turkey Stuns Germany 3-2 in Nagelsmann's Debut Amid Defensive Concerns

Turkey Stuns Germany 3-2 in Nagelsmann's Debut
Julian Nagelsmann, Head Coach of Germany, shakes hands with Niclas Fullkrug of Germany at full-time after their teams defeat in the international friendly match between Germany and Turkey at Olympiastadion on November 18, 2023 in Berlin, Germany(Image-Getty) 

In a surprising turn of events, Turkey stunned the hosts, Germany, with a 3-2 victory in a friendly match on Saturday, denting coach Julian Nagelsmann's home debut after assuming the position in September.

Despite the Germans' urgency to assemble a formidable team for the upcoming Euro 2024 on home turf, their defensive vulnerabilities persist as a significant cause for concern.

The Turkish team, already secured a spot in Euro 2024, showcased sharpness with a substantial presence of their fans in the Olympic Stadium. However, the German hosts, despite a strong start and an early lead, slackened as the game progressed. The outcome is unlikely to boost German fans' optimism for the tournament next year.

Nagelsmann, succeeding Hansi Flick, had a successful debut in October against the United States, followed by a draw against Mexico.

"We should have finished off the game in the first 10 minutes," Nagelsmann remarked. "But from the 25th minute until the break, we did not do much. We have to maintain the same level of play; every player has to contribute. Then, the quality will shine through in the games."

Germany took an early lead in the fifth minute when attacking midfielder Kai Havertz, playing an unconventional left-back role, converted a Leroy Sane cutback before a packed 70,000 crowd.

Sane, aiming for a goal himself, narrowly missed when his low drive went wide as Turkey's keeper Altay Bayindir was caught out of position.

The visitors capitalized on defensive lapses, narrowing the deficit with Ferdi Kadioglu's powerful shot in the 38th minute, connecting to a deep cross from Abdulkerim Bardakci.

Turkey leveled the score in first-half stoppage time through Kenan Yildiz, a former Bayern Munich youth player left unmarked at the far post.

Three minutes into the second half, Niclas Fuellkrug equalized with a low shot following Florian Wirtz's solo run, marking his 10th goal in 12 internationals for Germany. Yet, the Turks refused to settle for a draw, with Salih Ozcan hitting the post and earning a 70th-minute penalty for a handball by Havertz, converted by Yusuf Sari.

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