Harry Kane’s late penalty rescued a point for England in their Nations League clash with Germany in Munich on Tuesday night.
A frenetic first half belied the fact this match was being played straight off the back of a hectic club season, although it ended goalless after Germany had two goals chalked off.
Each side’s main striker had a sighter inside the first ten minutes, with Kai Havertz testing Jordan Pickford at his near post in the hosts’ first foray forward and Harry Kane shooting down Manuel Neuer’s throat at the other end.
Germany had the ball in the back of the net inside a quarter of an hour when Thomas Muller lifted a finish over the onrushing goalkeeper, but the referee had already blown his whistle when the ball went out of play shortly before, with Kalvin Phillips down injured.
The home side were in the ascendancy as some sloppiness began to creep into England’s game. Having almost got onto the end of an under-hit back-pass from Declan Rice, Jonas Hofmann ran through and finished from a Nico Schlotterbeck long ball midway through the half – but this time the flag was up for offside.
England’s best opening followed soon afterwards, but Kane could only blast over when the ball dropped at his feet after Neuer had failed to claim a corner.
Bukayo Saka then twice went close to breaking the deadlock in eight minutes of added time at the end of the half. Neuer beat away his first effort at his near post before the England winger bent a wicked strike just wide of his post from range.
Germany required just five minutes of the second half to find a lead. After some neat build-up play, Joshua Kimmich played an incisive, disguised pass into Jonas Hofmann in the box, who swivelled to thump the ball beyond Pickford’s weak wrist.
England almost hit back immediately after Jude Bellingham had battled well to win the ball back in midfield, but Mason Mount’s long-range drive was pushed wide by Neuer.
Pickford redeemed himself with a fine save from Thomas Muller’s back-post volley to keep the deficit at one with 20 minutes to go, repeating the trick to smother a Timo Werner shot five minutes later.
Jack Grealish’s introduction saw England get onto the front foot, and his low cross saw Kane draw an incredible save from Neuer on the stretch. The legendary stopper somehow blocked the shot with his hip and the ball looped just wide.
However, the Three Lions were gifted the opportunity to snatch an equaliser from the spot with just two minutes to go, courtesy of Nico Schlotterbeck’s clumsy challenge on Kane in the box. The referee didn’t give it initially but awarded a penalty having having consulted the pitch-side monitor following a VAR check.
Kane dusted himself down and stepped up to fire a pinpoint penalty into the bottom corner and rescue a point for Gareth Southgate’s side.
Here’s how the players rated…
GK: Manuel Neuer – 7/10 – Made a number of difficult saves look very easy and never really looked like being beaten. Stunning save to stop Kane once but no chance with the penalty.
CB: Lukas Klostermann – 7/10 – Showed good pace up and down the right, especially in recovery. Wonderful piece of late defending to cut out Bowen’s low cross.
CB: Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – Shadowed Kane. Typically combative and made some important interventions.
CB: Nico Schlotterbeck – 5/10 – The new Borussia Dortmund strode forward with real confidence early on and made a fine challenge. Almost punished when Bellingham nicked it off him. It was going so well before he clumsily gave away the late penalty.
RWB: Jonas Hofmann – 7/10 – Posed a real threat in the first half and had a strike chalked off. Got his goal very early in the second period with thumping finish.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 5/10 – Probably not as involved as he would have liked as the game passed him by somewhat. Body-checked by the referee at one point.
CM: Joshua Kimmich – 7/10 – Embarrassing dive as he’d realised he’d given the ball away to Mount. Showed his class with a wonderful disguised through ball to assist the opener.
LWB: David Raum – 7/10 – Really industrious down the left and put in some really good deliveries. Didn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities.
RF: Thomas Muller – 5/10 – Wasn’t able to probe in his usual way but went very close to doubling the lead with a back-post volley.
LF: Jamal Musiala – 7/10 – Against the nation he could have represented. Floating about, his touch and ball-carrying caused a real issue.
ST: Kai Havertz – 6/10 – Had a very early sighter but fired straight at Pickford. Ran hard but couldn’t make anything happen.
SUB: Serge Gnabry (65′ for Hofmann) – 5/10 – Showed incredible pace at times but no real impact.
SUB: Timo Werner (65′ for Musiala) – 5/10 – Forced a save on the stretch from Pickford but little else.
SUB: Leon Goretzka (76′ for Muler) – N/A
SUB: Leroy Sane (83′ for Gundogan) – N/A
GK: Jordan Pickford – 5/10 – Good handling without being overly exerted in the first period. Got a strong hand to the winning goal and should have done better. Good save from Muller redeemed him somewhat.
RB: Kyle Walker – 5/10 – Had a couple of unsteady moments where he seemed to lose his footing. Never really settled but had an OK game in the end.
CB: John Stones – 6/10 – Steady enough at the heart of the defence.
CB: Harry Maguire – 4/10 – Went looking for a physical battle with the wily Kai Havertz. Won his aerial duels but was miles out of position as Hofmann found space on his side of central defence.
LB: Kieran Trippier – 5/10 – Not able to be his usual, adventurous self and Hofmann caused him issues. Lost him for the opener.
CM: Kalvin Phillips – N/A – Picked up a painful early dead leg as he made a late challenge and was eventually forced off inside a quarter of an hour.
CM: Declan Rice – 6/10 – Not able to control the game in an intense midfield battle. Some very good tackling though.
RM: Bukayo Saka – 6/10 – Quiet before twice going close right at the end of the first half. Bit more involved after the break but subbed.
AM: Mason Mount – 5/10 – Led the England press with aggression initially. Stung Neuer’s fingertips from range but perhaps could have passed.
LM: Raheem Sterling – 5/10 – Struggled to get into the game and was wasteful in a few good positions.
ST: Harry Kane – 7/10 – Had England’s best opening of the the first half but blasted over. Probably couldn’t believe Neuer stopped his effort in the second. Unstoppable, pinpoint penalty to level under pressure – his 50th goal for England.
SUB: Jude Bellingham (15′ for Phillips) – 7/10 – Inevitably more adventurous than Phillips but showed real tenacity too. Some really excellent tackling.
SUB: Jack Grealish (72′ for Mount) – 6/10 – Posed an immediate threat and thought he had an assist for Kane.
SUB: Jarrod Bowen (80′ for Saka) – 6/10 – Another sub who impressed in his brief cameo. His low cross almost led to a goal.