Fortune and flair sees Germany overcome Denmark storm


Germany reached their first quarter-finals in four attempts at a major tournament as goals from Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala secured a 2-0 victory over Denmark in a storm-delayed encounter in Dortmund.

On the eve of the Saturday night encounter at Signal Iduna Park, meteorologists had warned that inclement weather conditions in the Ruhr region could disrupt proceedings – and referee Michael Oliver was forced to suspend play for 20 minutes during the first half as a precaution.

By then, Germany had seen Nico Schlotterbeck’s header ruled out after Andreas Skov Olsen was blocked by Joshua Kimmich.

Rasmus Hojlund was guilty of missing two good chances late in the first half, but the game’s big flashpoint centred on Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen in a matter of minutes.

The players were taken off during the first half due to thunderstorms over the stadium
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The players were taken off during the first half due to thunderstorms over the stadium

Team news

  • Schlotterbeck came in for the suspended Tah in the expected change at centre-back, but Nagelsmann also brought in Raum and Sane to replace Mittelstadt and Wirtz.
  • Kasper Hjulmand mixed it up, abandoning his trusted 3-5-2 formation in favour of a 3-4-3. Delaney came into midfield for the suspended Morten Hjulmand, while Skov Olsen replaced Wind in attack.

First, the centre-back thought he had scored the first goal for his country when he swivelled and found the bottom corner but Thomas Delaney was deemed to have been fractionally offside in the build-up.

As Germany celebrated their reprieve, VAR Stuart Atwell spotted a handball from Andersen moments later in blocking David Raum’s cross. It seemed harsh given the proximity of Andersen to the cross, but Havertz stayed composed to beat Kasper Schmeichel from 12 yards.

There was nothing controversial about Germany’s second, however, which killed the contest as Schlotterbeck picked out the run of Musiala, who breezed away from Andersen to fire across Schmeichel and set up a quarter-final against either Spain or Georgia.

Speaking on ITV, Roy Keane was not impressed with the decision-making of the Denmark goalkeeper, saying: “His starting position was OK but then Kasper hesitates in that split-second and makes the wrong decision. Once he started going back to his own goal, he was in trouble. It was a brilliant finish but hesitation cost him.”

Kai Havertz's penalty put Germany ahead in Dortmund
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Kai Havertz’s penalty put Germany ahead in Dortmund

Why was Denmark’s goal ruled out?

Andersen is perplexed as to why his goal was chalked off
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Andersen is perplexed as to why his goal was chalked off

There were three decisions which had to be made in the incident which saw Andersen think he had given Denmark the lead.

Firstly, the English match officials looked at whether there was an initial offside from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick. That was ruled out.

During the second phase, it was checked whether there was a penalty offence on Thomas Delaney by Havertz, which was deemed not to be sufficient enough to be overturned.

Therefore, Delaney was standing in an offside position – by a toe – when he attacked the ball off when it came off Rasmus Hojlund’s shoulder. Semi-automated VAR replays showed just how tight the offside call was.

Joachim Andersen's turn and finish was ruled out
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Joachim Andersen’s turn and finish was ruled out

Ange: I don’t care what technology they’ve got today

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou was dismayed by Andersen’s goal being disallowed by semi-automated offside technology. The technology showed that Thomas Delaney had strayed offside in the build-up by a matter of inches.

Postecoglou told ITV: “When it’s that tight I cannot see how it can be that definitive. I don’t care what technology they’ve got today.

“The problem is once we accept that we then accept us sitting around for two minutes later on in the game trying to figure out how to disallow that goal. In the past the linesman put his flag up and we all knew whether it was offside or it wasn’t.”

UEFA statement on Andersen disallowed goal

Denmark thought they had taken the lead in Dortmund
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Denmark thought they had taken the lead in Dortmund

“During the match between Germany and Denmark, connected ball technology housed inside adidas’s Fussballliebe ball showed that Denmark defender Joachim Andersen touched the ball with his hand inside the penalty area.

“In this instance, the sensor was able to record accurately the touch of the hand of the player with the surface of the ball.

“The ‘heartbeat’ of the ball shown on broadcast is the same as the referee sees during the on-field review and discerns the point of contact accurately to five-hundredths of a second.”

Should Andersen have been penalised for handball?

Andersen was also penalised for handling Raum's cross
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Andersen was also penalised for handling Raum’s cross

The Andersen handball incident fell within the current interpretation and application of the IFAB rules. Andersen’s body is outside the silhouette, creating a barrier preventing the ball from being crossed.

Andersen’s arm is outstretched, therefore it was recommended for it to be a penalty offence.

Roy Keane speaking on ITV:

“I’m always critical of defenders who put their hands behind their back, as their balance can’t be right. But you feel for defenders now. I can’t see that as a penalty.

“Does every defender now have to put their hands behind their back? You feel for Denmark. The spirit of the game – it’s so unfair for that handball to go against them.”

Sky Sports’ Lewis Jones:

“This handball law is a farce. To punish Andersen that severely for that kind of infringement is a joke. It’s an easy fix. If a handball isn’t deliberate inside the area, award an indirect free-kick. It would stop all this nonsense.”

Stats: Story of the match

Reaction from Dortmund

Only France and Netherlands (both 6) have scored more penalties at the UEFA European Championship finals than Germany (5, not including shootouts), with only EURO 2020 (9) seeing more penalties scored than EURO 2024 (8).
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Denmark have failed to win any of their last eight games at major competitions (D4 L4), with their last such victory coming in the quarter-finals of EURO 2020 against Czechia (2-1)

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann: “The first 20 minutes of the game was the best we’ve played at the tournament and then the rain break unsettled everyone. Denmark didn’t have a shot in the first half but in the second half put more pressure on us. There’s a lot of work to do ahead of the quarter-finals, we need to be a little more patient in the build-up phase and wait for our moments.”

German defender Nico Schlotterbeck: “I think we had a super game and hope that the fans in Dortmund enjoyed it. I’m very happy for the team, it’s reward for the hard work. The break for the rain, we handled well. We played with euphoria and with pleasure and now we go to Stuttgart (for the quarter-final). I grew up just a few kilometres away.”

Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney: “It’s very heavy right now, very heavy. We met a good team. We just needed to stick the knife in. We got what we expected. I don’t know if it’s a big offside for our goal, but it’s probably on me. It was like a bucket of cold water over the head. We invested a lot, we suffered a lot, we have to be honest to say that too. It was a tough match, and we expect that against Germany too.”

Star player – Kai Havertz

Germany have now won three of their five encounters with Denmark at major competitions (World Cups/EUROs – L2), with all three victories coming at the UEFA European Championship finals (1988 and 2012 also).
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Germany have now won three of their five encounters with Denmark at major competitions (World Cups/EUROs – L2), with all three victories coming at the UEFA European Championship finals (1988 and 2012 also).

From the sublime to the ridiculous. This was a trademark performance from the Arsenal forward, the sort that makes him so entertaining. He ought to have scored from six yards out in the first half when he headed Raum’s delivery straight at Schmeichel.

In the second, a brilliant piece of skill evaded Jannik Vestergaard only for the finish to again be lacking. But Havertz gets through so much work and his efforts were rewarded from the spot.

On what was his 50th cap for Germany, Havertz netted his 18th goal for the national team, with only Niclas Füllkrug (7) netting more goals since the appointment of Julian Nagelsmann than his six.

Only Jürgen Klinsmann and Mario Gomez (both 5) have scored more goals for Germany at the UEFA European Championship finals than Havertz (4), while he’s netted five goals in his last 10 games for the national team.

Clash delayed for 24 minutes by thunder and lightning

Germany’s Euro 2024 knockout tie with Denmark suffered a 24-minute delay due to thunder and lightning in Dortmund.

English referee Michael Oliver suspended the round-of-16 tie, which was scoreless, after 35 minutes before the weather relented.

As torrential rain fell at the Westfalenstadion, both sets of players stood at the edge of the pitch for a few moments before being led into the dressing rooms.

The round-of-16 tie began in good weather, but conditions changed as the contest went past the half-hour mark.

Loud thunder bangs, lightning, heavy rain and hailstones arrived as both sets of supporters tried to protect themselves under makeshift covers.

Musiala coming of age – Opta stats

Musiala is the first Germany player to score 3+ goals in a single EUROs edition since Mario Gómez in 2012 (3).
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Musiala is the first Germany player to score 3+ goals in a single EUROs edition since Mario Gómez in 2012 (3)

  • Only Wayne Rooney (4) has scored more goals aged 21 and under at the UEFA European Championship finals than Germany’s Jamal Musiala (3), while he’s scored more goals at this EUROs in four games than in his first 29 appearances for the national team (2).
  • Manuel Neuer made his 38th appearance for Germany at a major competition; the joint-most of any player for the national team alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger. Indeed, this was also his 19th appearance at the UEFA European Championship finals, the most of any German player.
  • Only France and Netherlands (both 6) have scored more penalties at the UEFA European Championship finals than Germany (5, not including shootouts), with only EURO 2020 (9) seeing more penalties scored than EURO 2024 (8).
  • Germany have reached the quarter-finals of a major competition for the first time since doing so at EURO 2016, reaching the semi-finals of that edition.

Who else faces who in the last 16?



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