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Euro 2024: Germany secure late draw against Switzerland

June 23, 2024

Germany might not have beaten Switzerland, but Niclas Füllkrug's last-minute equalizer secured the top spot in Group A for Julian Nagelsmann's side and instantly became a moment of tournament folklore.

Niclas Füllkrug smiles and looks forward towards the camera
Niclas Füllkrug scored his second goal of Euro 2024 against SwitzerlandImage: Markus Ulmer/Pressebildagentur ULMER/picture alliance

For a long time, Germany's match against Switzerland looked like it would be as frustrating and unlucky as a journey on German trains often is. 

By full time, though, the 1-1 draw provided both Julian Nagelsmann's side and the country with the one thing it had been missing, namely a moment to remember.

Niclas Füllkrug's header in the 92nd minute of the Euro game was not only deserved — Germany had 18 attempts on goal to Switzerland's four and enjoyed over 60% of the ball — but it also served up a classic tournament memory. 

In a wild game that saw two disallowed goals, a yellow card that suspends defender Jonathan Tah for the host's Round of 16 clash, and an incredible reflex save from Manuel Neuer, it felt only right that a last-minute equalizer was the final act.

It wasn't a winner, but this was a moment players live for and fans never forget. Even if Germany's tournament ends in a week or two, all those Germany fans in Frankfurt, or those watching on a big screen in a city center or at home on the sofa, will remember where they were for Füllkrug's goal. 

It felt similar to that memorable moment during the group stage of the 2006 World Cup when David Odonkor crossed for Oliver Neuville to score a last-minute winner against Poland in Dortmund, and David Raum, who delivered the cross for Füllkrug, said as much.

Memories of 2006

"I can definitely remember it," Raum said when asked about that moment 18 years ago. "I was 8 years old. I watched it with my friends at home or in the garden. I think we put a big screen up on the wall. It was my first big tournament." 


"Fülle [Füllkrug] came into the changing room and said someone had compared us to Odonkor and Neuville. It's funny. We all remember that cross and it would be nice if mine also stuck in people's minds," the defender continued.

So much about this goal makes it a contender to be the latest great tournament moment for Germany. The timing, occasion and meaning — it was all there. And there was those involved, too. 

Raum has not often impressed in a Germany shirt, but when it mattered, he delivered by reminding everyone of just how good his crosses are. And that Füllkrug, Germany's fan favorite and perhaps one of the most relatable figures in the squad, was the goal scorer just added another layer to the fairy tale.

Füllkrug is Germany's most effective player off the bench at major tournaments. He has 13 goals in 19 games for his country. The calls for him to start will grow, but his effectiveness in his current role is undeniable.

"This belief that we can score goals right up until the end of the game, that is something that we will internalize and in case we need it again we'll have it in our minds," said the Borussia Dortmund striker. 

Can Germany win it all?

Germany have finished top of a group at a major tournament for the first time since 2016, marking the arrival of the players' first tournament bonus in seven years — finishing top of the group earned each player €50,000.

Switzerland's Dan Ndoye scores their goal against Germany in the Euro 2024 Group A match
Switzerland's Dan Ndoye scored their only goalImage: Thilo Schmuelgen/REUTERS

It wasn't a perfect end to the group stages but they remain undefeated. In the rapid cycle of tournament football, that's all that matters.

Germany's opponents so far might have "only" been Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland, but seven months ago they were "only" playing Austria and Turkey and the results were quite different. 

A draw here has not slowed the momentum behind this team — Neuer said the draw felt like a win and Füllkrug added the result had created a foundation for success.

The sound of the crowd in the final minutes of the game was further evidence that the country still believes this team can go all the way.

The knockout route is set: Dortmund, Stuttgart, Munich and then Berlin. As each stage passes, the cheers and confidence will grow, the opportunity for impactful change will increase and the chance of a summer to remember forever becomes a more distinct possibility. 

Füllkrug has provided Germany with their tournament moment. Now it's time to find out whether they can truly win it all on home soil.

Edited by: Kalika Mehta