For the first time in a long time, Joachim Low can breathe easy. How Germany needed a night like this. This is a nation that has see-sawed from crisis to humiliation over the past eighteen months.
First came the calamitous exit from the World Cup in Russia. Then a bitter race row and a splintered dressing room saw Mesut Ozil turn his back on the country. Germany suffered the indignity of relegation from the UEFA Nations’ League. Searching for answers, Low reached for the axe. He dropped World Cup winners Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller from his squad entirely.
In Amsterdam, Low’s decisions paid off spectacularly. Low placed his faith in Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry, who each scored, and then introduced Marco Reus as a substitute in the 88th minute and the winger laid on the winner for Nico Schulz within two minutes of his arrival.
Nico Schulz scored a last-minute winner as Germany beat Holland in a dramatic Euro 2020 qualifier at the Johan Cruyff ArenA
Germany began their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with three points after a topsy-turvy game in Amsterdam on Sunday
Twenty-three-year-old Manchester City star Leroy Sane scored the opening goal for Germany after a quarter of an hour
Former Arsenal man Serge Gnabry doubled the away side’s advantage with a fine individual effort on 34 minutes
Teenage defender Matthijs De Ligt gave Holland hope of a comeback by pulling a goal back for the hosts just after half-time
Holland No 10 Memphis Depay, pictured celebrating with team-mate Georginio Wijnaldum, drew Holland level on 63 minutes
Holland (4-3-3): Cillessen 6; Dumfries 6, De Ligt 6, Van Dijk 6, Blind 6; De Roon 6 (L. De Jong 90), De Jong 7, Wijnaldum 7; Promes 6, Depay 7.5, Babel 4 (Berghwijn 45, 6)
Subs not used: Zoet, Bizot, Hateboer, Ake, Rosario, Van Aanholt, Berghuis, Strootman, Vilhena, De Jong, Van de Beek
Manager: Ronald Koeman 7
Goals: De Ligt 48, Depay 63
Germany (3-5-2): Neuer 7; Rudiger 6, Sule 6, Ginter 6; Kehrer 6.5, Kimmich 6.5, Kroos 6, Goretzka 6 (Gundogan 70), Schulz 7; Gnabry 8 (Reus 88), Sane 8
Subs not used: Trapp, Ter Stegen, Halstenberg, Tah, Eggestein, Werner, Brandt, Stark, Havertz
Manager: Joachim Low 6
Goals: Sane 15, Gnabry 34, Schulz 90
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano 6
On Thursday evening in Wolfsburg, Sane endured one of the most haunting nights of his professional career. As Germany slumbered to a timid home draw against Serbia, the Manchester City winger was subjected to racist abuse from his country’s own supporters.
Sane, however, is a formidable character. Life has not always been easy in a German shirt and he was left out of the squad for the World Cup last year. For Sane to hide away would only satisfy the bigots.
Instead, Sane delved into the reservoirs of his resilience and produced the finest performance yet of his international career. He punished a rare Mathijs De Ligt slip to score Germany’s opening goal and his…