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Germany coach Joachim Low defended his team following their Nations League defeat to France, claiming that this defeat was different compared to others. A 14th minute penalty from Toni Kroos gave Germany the lead. Antoine Griezmann netted the equaliser for France in the 62nd minute before converting a penalty to put France 2-1 up.
The World Champions now lead their group with 7 points while Germany remain at the bottom of their group with a point. Germany cannot qualify to the Nations League finals and now have to fight to prevent relegation.
Despite the defeat, Germany gave in a pretty decent performance that even France coach Didier Deschamps praised.
Following the match, Joachim Low said, “I’m disappointed, but this defeat feels different to last Saturday (lost 3-0 to Netherlands), not of course because of the result, but because of our very good performance. The team played really well and attacked courageously. I think that we were on the same level as perhaps the best team in the world. In the first half, we could have been two-nil up, but France have a lot of individual quality. If we’re not careful they will immediately punish us, which is what happened later.
France won the 80th minute penalty due to an alleged foul made by Mats Hummels on Blaise Matuidi. However, Low felt that the penalty was unjust because he thought Matuidi slipped and fell and that Hummels made no contact with the Juventus midfielder. He said, “But the penalty was totally unjustified. I just watched the replay. Mats [Hummels] absolutely does not touch [Blaise] Matuidi. It was Matuidi who stepped on his foot and slipped, so this penalty was totally unfair. But I’m happy with the way the team courageously battled.”
Germany’s next Nations League fixture is against Netherlands at Gelsenkirchen. Provided Germany beat Netherlands and Netherlands lose their previous match to France, then they’ll remain in League A of the 2020-21 Nations League.