NEWS
Sunday June 26 2016
Germany sweep Slovakia aside

Julian Draxler got a goal and an assist for Mario Gomez, as Germany swept Slovakia aside 3-0 despite Mesut Özil’s parried penalty.

Die Mannschaft will go on to face Italy or Spain in what’s sure to be a huge quarter-final in Bordeaux on July 2.

Joachim Löw’s World Cup winners went into the Round of 16 unbeaten, yet not entirely convincing in the group phase. Jerome Boateng recovered from a knock to start and Julian Draxler replaced Mario Götze, while Slovakia missed Robert Mak and Tomas Hubocan, giving Roma defender Norbert Gyomber a surprise pick.

An early header from Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira was fingertipped over the bar, but from the resulting corner it was cleared out to the D where Boateng hit a stunning low volley into the near bottom corner. It was the perfect way to start the game and mark his first goal in the 63rd cap.

Martin Skrtel was rather harshly penalised for a nudge in the back of Mario Gomez, but Mesut Ozil stepped up and saw his penalty saved by Matus Kozacik, keeping Slovakia in the game. It was Arsenal man Özil’s third miss in the last four spot-kicks for club and country, but Germany’s first in Euros history (excluding shoot-outs).

Özil fired another effort wide from a Gomez knock-down and Draxler’s attempt scuffed wide, but on 40 minutes Slovakia had a great chance too. Milan midfielder Juraj Kucka saw his header fingertipped out from under the bar by Manuel Neuer.

However, Draxler skipped past a defender to pull back from the by-line and ex-Fiorentina striker Gomez turned in from five yards to double Germany’s lead.

After the restart Kucka hit a fierce effort, but it was straight at Neuer, while Hamsik and Jan Durica free kicks also caused concern.

Just as Slovakia seemed to be getting back into the game, a corner was knocked on for Draxler’s volley into the near top corner from close range.

It remained a thoroughly comfortable performance for Germany and a stoppage-time save denied Toni Kroos a fourth on the counter.

Germany 3-0 Slovakia

Boateng 8 (G), Gomez 43 (G), Draxler 63 (G)

Germany: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng (Höwedes 71), Hummels, Hector; Kroos, Khedira (Schweinsteiger 76); Müller, Özil, Draxler (Podolski 71); Gomez

Slovakia: Kozacik; Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Gyomber (Salata 84); Hrosovsky, Skriniar, Hamsik; Kucka, Duris (Sestak 64), Weiss (Gregus 46)

Ref: Marciniak

Saved penalty: Özil 13 (G)