Germany were beaten 4-1 by Japan in an international friendly in Wolfsburg on Saturday, August 9, 2023.
This was a third consecutive loss for Hansi Flick’s men who saw their winless streak stretch to five matches. Their most recent triumph dates back to a match against Peru in March.
The defeat intensified the pressure on Flick, who has been under scrutiny in his home country since their premature exit from the World Cup last year during the group stage.
In the wake of the loss, the former Bayern Munich manager was dismissed from his position less than 24 hours later.
Ukraine end England’s perfect qualifying record
England’s path to the 2024 Euro finals in Germany hit a roadblock as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Ukraine, ending their perfect qualifying record.
Despite an early dominance in possession, England conceded the opening goal with Ukraine’s first shot on target, courtesy of Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Gareth Southgate’s team managed to level the score just before halftime when Kyle Walker, earning his 77th cap, scored his first international goal.
Italy’s struggles against North Macedonia persist
Italy’s struggles in European Championship qualifying persisted as they were held to a surprising 1-1 draw by North Macedonia in Skopje, once again falling victim to the same team that had upset them in the World Cup 2022 play-offs.
In the debut match under new manager Luciano Spalletti, Ciro Immobile gave the Azzurri the lead with a header. However, Enis Bardhi’s impressive 20-yard free-kick secured a crucial point for the hosts.
The drawn match now leaves the reigning European champions, Italy, facing a challenging journey to secure a spot in next year’s finals in Germany.
Albania condemn Poland to surprise defeat
Poland’s quest for a fifth consecutive European Championship appearance faced another setback in Tirana as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat.
Albania emerged as Group E leaders, edging two points ahead of the Czech Republic and Moldova, while Poland lagged behind in fourth.
Jasir Asani, representing Gwangju in South Korea, propelled Albania towards a significant victory with a stunning left-footed strike from the outer edge of the area.
Mirlind Daku added a second goal shortly after the one-hour mark, securing all three points for Albania.