BERLIN, March 29: Two quick first-half goals paved the way for Belgium’s first victory over Germany since 1954 after a 3-2 away win on Tuesday.
The Red Devils took the reins early on and got off to a perfect start down the road when Kevin De Bruyne sent a through ball to Yannick Carrasco, who finished the job with the opener on the roof of the net with six minutes played.
De Bruyne stayed on top of it and kept Germany’s defense busy when Romelu Lukaku doubled the lead courtesy of a De Bruyne pass that split the defense three minutes later.
Germany were unable to keep Belgium at bay and got lucky on 19 minutes when Dodi Lukebakio failed to make it 3-0 after missing goal with only goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to beat.
Amadou Onana should have scored two minutes later, but the midfielder could only shake the woodwork from close range.
Germany gained ground in the clash as the match progressed and halved the deficit in the closing stages of the first half when Niclas Fullkrug converted a penalty to score his sixth goal in as many outings.
After the restart, Germany turned up and created further momentum when Timo Werner deflected wide from a promising position on 65 minutes before Joshua Kimmich’s long-range shot forced Belgian goalkeeper Koen Casteels into action five minutes later.
Just as Germany seemed about to take over, Belgium regained their two-goal lead out of nowhere in the 78th minute when a direct pass from Leandro Trossard allowed De Bruyne to finish off a counter-attack with just one tempo.
Germany’s resistance was still not broken when Serge Gnabry’s solo run nearly made it 3-2 in the 84th minute.
The hosts continued and were rewarded three minutes later when Gnabry latched on to Kevin Schade’s cutback.
Hansi Flick’s side pushed frantically for an equalizer, but Belgium’s defense held firm to snatch their second successive win under new coach Domenico Tedesco.
“We played too passively. We couldn’t put pressure on Belgium, where they showed no mercy in front of goal. We made too many mistakes, but we showed our will in the second half,” Germany coach Flick said.