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04/06/24 | 8:01 am

Hosts Germany dominate but play out goalless draw against Ukraine ahead of Euro 2024 kickoff

Euro 2024 hosts Germany missed scores of chances and dominated for much of the friendly game against Ukraine on Monday (June 3) but did not get past a 0-0 in their penultimate warm-up game before the tournament start in 11 days.

The Germans, desperate for a good Euro on home soil after a decade without any international success, hit the woodwork and came close on several occasions in a strong performance despite plenty of substitutions.

Coach Julian Nagelsmann is due to announce his final squad this week, cutting one player from his 27-man preliminary selection.

Germany, without Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund players in the lineup following Saturday’s Champions League final, but with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the stands, started at a fast pace and with high pressing.

Ilkay Gundogan should have put them in the lead in the 16th minute when Pascal Gross sent a cross to the far post for a header but the unmarked Germany captain failed to connect properly.

The Ukrainians, who qualified for the Euros following a playoff win over Iceland, left possession to their opponents and instead tried to counter-attack using Mykhailo Mudryk’s speed.

The Germans, who play their final warm-up game against Greece in four days, came close again early in the second half but Kai Havertz’s glancing header sailed wide in the 53rd.

Substitute Maximilian Beier, making his national team debut, came even closer with his first touch, hitting the crossbar from a tight angle and then forcing a save from goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin minutes later.

Trubin also denied Chris Fuehrich from the edge of the box a little later.

The visitors got a bigger share of possession after an hour and could have snatched the win in the last minute but Germany keeper Manuel Neuer, making his first national team appearance since the 2022 World Cup, stopped Andriy Yarmolenko’s effort from a tight angle.

Germany open the tournament with their Group A match against Scotland on June 14. They also play Hungary and Switzerland in their group.

Ukraine will start their tournament on June 17 against Romania in Group E and will also take on Slovakia and Belgium.

(REUTERS)

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