Germany narrowly beat Ukraine in the Nations League on Saturday, partly thanks to a goalkeeper blunder. Under the watchful eye of 21,000 spectators, the team of national coach Joachim Löw triumphed in Kiev with 1-2. Spain beat Switzerland with minimal difference.
The most startling moment in Ukraine-Germany was the blunder of Ukraine goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan in the 49th minute. The goalkeeper, who was allowed to show up because three other goalkeepers were infected with the corona virus, let a cross from German right back Lukas Klostermann slip out of his hands, after which the ball ended up on Leon Goretzka’s head.
Germany was already in the lead at that time by a goal from Matthias Ginter. The defender tapped in a low cross from Antonio Rudiger in the twentieth minute after an indirect free kick was smothered.
Ukraine found the connection fifteen minutes before the end via Ruslan Malinovsky, who used a penalty kick after defender Niklas Süle hit the ground with an unnecessary sliding Roman Yaremchuk. The home team did not get further than that.
It is the first victory in the Nations League for Germany. In group 4 of division A, ‘Die Mannschaft’ previously drew against Spain (1-1) and Switzerland (1-1). Only the winner of the group will qualify for the Final Four at the end of the group stage, which is scheduled for June.
Mikel Oyarzabal clenches his fist after his opening goal for Spain against Switzerland. (Photo: ANP)
Spain is just too strong for Ukraine
In the same group, Spain won at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano in Madrid with minimal difference from Switzerland. The only goal of the game was Mikel Oyarzabal, who mercilessly punished a wrong pass from Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the fourteenth minute.
The team of national coach Luis Enrique is still unbeaten in the Nations League after three matches and is the leader in group 4. After the draw against Germany, the three-time European champion outclassed Ukraine 4-0 early last month.