First defeat for Nagelsmann – Germany loses to Turkey

To: November 19, 2023 00:46

The German national team suffered their first defeat against Turkey under coach Julian Nagelsmann. It is a setback on the road to the 2024 home European Championships.

On Saturday (18.11.2023) Germany lost 2:3 (1:2) to Turkey in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, which was sold out with 72,592 spectators. After the victory against the United States and the draw against Mexico, Nagelsmann lost for the first time as national coach in the third match. Kai Havertz and Niclas Füllkrug scored the goals for Germany, while Ferdi Kadioglu, Kenan Yildiz and Yusuf Sari scored for Turkey with handheld penalties in front of tens of thousands of Turkish fans.

Yusuf Sari (M.) from Turkey celebrates his goal of 3:2.

It is a setback for the German team before the home European Championships in summer 2024; the team will play against Austria in Vienna on Tuesday. Since being eliminated from the preliminary round at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Germany have lost five out of ten matches and won three. “As a team we had a good level of emotion”Nagelsmann said on the sports show. “We have to close the game in the first ten minutes. But individual players didn’t always have the same emotionality as the opponent. We have to improve because we don’t have time to waste.” The EURO 2024 groups will be drawn on 2 December in Hamburg.

German games from the 2022 World Cup
Date Opponent Result

March 25, 2023



March 28, 2023



June 12, 2023



June 16, 2023



June 20, 2023



September 9, 2023



September 12, 2023



October 14, 2023

United States of America


October 18, 2023



November 18, 2023



November 21, 2023


Germany soon takes the lead, but Turkey finds the answers

“Especially ahead of a big tournament, it is important to be stable,” Julian Nagelsmann said before the match on RTL. The national coach, who is expected to lead the team to the home European Championships in 2024, surprised with an unusual measure: Kai Havertz played as a left back. And the plan initially worked: Benjamin Henrichs released Leroy Sané on the right, who with his pass found the left back in the penalty area – Havertz took the lead. An early goal initially seemed to confirm the good impressions of the trip to the United States.

The German team was strong in attack, but made serious mistakes in defense. Turkey found adequate responses before the break. Abdülkerim Bardakci pushed the ball forward to the left, the German defense misjudged Ferdi Kadioglu, Kadioglu forcefully shot the ball into goalkeeper Kevin Trapp’s goal (38th). Turkey, who had long qualified for the European Championships in Germany, continued to apply pressure and even took the lead: once again a long pass on the left side of the Turkish attack caused problems for the German team. Kenan Yildiz appeared free in front of Trapp and shot bravely into the right corner (45th + 2).

Ferdi Kadioglu celebrates his equalizer.

“We conceded three goals, once again. At this level it’s too much”Germany captain Ilkay Gündogan said on the sports show. “We weren’t aggressive enough. We made it too easy for the Turks to pass the ball back and forth. Then you end up running a lot behind and obviously that shouldn’t be our focus.”

Füllkrug equalizes, but Turkey scores again

The German team also started the second half well and equalized shortly after the restart. Florian Wirtz pushed the ball deep into the Turkish half and fed Niclas Füllkrug, who scored from twelve meters (49′).

Niclas Füllkrug celebrates the equalizer against Turkey.

But Turkey remained powerful. Salih Özcan hit the post from 18 meters in the 52nd minute – and in the 69th minute the video assistant flagged a potentially punishable handball to the referee; Kai Havertz had hit his arm while he was running. Polish referee Bartosz Frankowski awarded a penalty, Yusuf Sari fortunately converted to give Turkey another lead, goalkeeper Trapp was still there (71′). Yilmaz could have made the score 4-2 in the 82nd minute, but did not score, nor did Serge Gnabry, who narrowly missed a pass from Henrichs (86′). “Wanting it badly is important for us. I think we weren’t all 100%.”Füllkrug said in the sports show. “We didn’t reach Turkey’s emotional level in the first half.”

Turkish international Salih Özcan is thrilled with the atmosphere that a real home match for Turkey has created. “The meeting is always special, I think”Özcan said on the sports show. “We felt good, we brought the fans with us, we had fun and it’s an indescribably good feeling.”

The situation before the match was politically charged

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was on a state visit to Germany on Friday and Saturday, did not show up for the match. Various demonstrations on the conflict in the Middle East and on the situation of the Kurds in Turkey mainly involved the police forces. The march of Turkish fans before the match was peaceful.

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