After having had its worst FIFA World Cup in modern history this past summer, Germany continued its national team crisis into the UEFA Nations League in the match against the Netherlands on Saturday evening.
They did so by losing 3-0, in a game that was much more even than the score line suggests. Die Mannschaft had more chances early in the first half. Then, a badly defended corner kick gave the Dutch team the lead half an hour in, and the confidence to do more.
So much so, that the Germans were somewhat lucky not to have conceded more than the one goal, before the half was over.
But in the second forty-five minutes, Germany spend most of the time in the ascendency, looking for the equalizer, that just would not come.
Toward the end of the game, they grew so desperate to get it, that this opened up room for several Dutch counterattacks. Two of them were then converted to give us the very lopsided final score. But whatever the circumstances, soccer remains a results business.
That means that after last month’s scoreless draw at home to France and this defeat, the four-time world and three-time European champions are in danger of relegation to League B in the UEFA Nations League.
That along with the above-mentioned 2018 World Cup disaster would be a major embarrassment for the positively soccer-mad nation.
If that indeed does happen, the national association (DFB), which is extremely hesitant to fire its coaches, could be forced into doing so by public pressure, and Joachim Löw’s time may be up soon.
Yet, as bad as the situation looks now, there are two matches left (away to France and at home to the Netherlands).
There is a German saying: Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt. It literally means that the hope dies last, which is true for the fortunes of Germany.