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Germany lose to Poland as pressure mounts on Flick

Poland midfielder Michal Skoras escapes Germany defender Thilo Kehrer (left). Photo: Andrzej Iwanczuk/AFP

Euro 2024 hosts Germany lost 1-0 to Poland in a friendly in Warsaw on Friday, with Jakub Kiwor’s first-half goal piling more pressure on coach Hansi Flick. 

Poland’s victory was just their second over their neighbours in 22 games dating back to 1933, and left Germany with a single win in four games since their disastrous World Cup campaign in Qatar. 

Kiwor headed in a corner midway through the first half to give his side the lead against a disorganised Germany defence, adding to Flick’s problems ahead of next year’s Euro on home soil.

Under fire for continued experimentation with the team stuttering, Flick made nine changes from the team which drew 3-3 with Ukraine on Monday in Bremen. 

Only captain Joshua Kimmich and centre-back Antonio Ruediger remained, with Flick handing 21-year-old central defender Malick Thiaw a debut as part of a back three. 

Poland brought the energy early and Jakub Blaszczykowski, making his 109th and final Poland appearance, had a shot blocked by Thiaw on the counter after 13 minutes. 

Blaszczykowski was substituted soon after, the 37-year-old receiving a standing ovation from both sets of fans, after more than a decade playing in Germany for Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg. 

The hosts continued the celebratory mood, taking the lead midway through the first half when Kiwor shed West Ham defender Thilo Kehrer to head in a Piotr Zielinksi corner. 

Germany upped the ante in the second half and looked to have a golden chance to equalise 10 minutes in when Jan Bednarek was ruled to have handled in the box.  

Poland were however granted a reprieve when the spot-kick was overturned on review, with VAR replays showing insufficient contact with the Southampton centre-back’s arm.

Kimmich, who saved Germany’s blushes from the spot in injury time against Ukraine, tried from distance but his shot rattled off the crossbar. 

Flick made five attacking changes in the closing minutes but Germany were unable to find the goal. 

While Germany have qualified for next year’s Euro as hosts, questions remain for a side which has failed to convert its talent and resources into on-field success since the 2014 World Cup win in Brazil. 

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