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Germany 2-1 Greece: Gross, Havertz goals give Euro 2024 hosts friendly win

Germany won for a fourth time in eight matches under Julian Nagelsmann

Pascal Gross playing football for Germany

Pascal Gross’s glorious late strike gave Germany a comeback win over Greece in the Uefa Euro 2024 hosts’ final friendly before they open the tournament against Scotland on June 14.

Brighton & Hove Albion playmaker Gross took aim masterfully from the edge of the penalty area to complete Germany’s revival in style in Monchengladbach.

Georgios Masouras had put Greece ahead when Manuel Neuer could not hold Christos Tzolis’s effort 12 minutes before the break.

Kai Havertz had a goal disallowed 10 minutes later but the Arsenal forward received Leroy Sane’s pass and span inside the box to draw Germany level 11 minutes after half-time.

Germany v Greece: Hosts pass test

Fan banners at Borussia Park had advertised their expectation that Germany will be European champions, which looked unlikely on the evidence of early exchanges offering far more encouragement to Greece.

Neuer denied Tzolis twice in quick succession during the opening minutes as the visitors, whose only defeat over 90 minutes in their previous six matches had been against the Netherlands, had the better of much of the first half.

Greece had only missed out on Euro qualification on penalties against Georgia and held France and thrashed Kazakhstan in their previous games in the campaign, so their stubbornness and threat – often on the break – was perhaps unsurprising.

Jonathan Tah headed a presentable chance wide and Toni Kroos lifted a shot over the crossbar before Havertz’s finish was ruled out because he was adjudged to have been offside when Jamal Musiala played him through.

Gross goal lifts Euro 2024 hosts

Germany lifted the mood around the stadium by asserting themselves far more from the midway point of the second half, when manager Julian Nagelsmann made four substitutions.

Benjamin Henrichs lifted a splendid shot against the crossbar seven minutes from time, and there was even better to come from Gross, whose goal was indicative of the quality he has shown during his latest inventive season with Brighton.

Gross’s brilliance was a fitting end to an unexpectedly dramatic send-off for the three-time Euro winners as they seek their first title since 1996.

Nagelsmann will be hopeful of a more assured win at the Allianz Arena next Friday. Die Mannschaft remain unbeaten in 2024 and also face Hungary and Switzerland in Group A.

Picture of Ben Miller

Ben Miller

Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.