Blank­ing a new Loew for Ger­many

Toronto Star - - SPORTS -

Ger­many’s UEFA Na­tions League cam­paign took a hu­mil­i­at­ing blow af­ter a 3-0 loss at Nether­lands on Satur­day. Ger­many re­mains with­out a win in the top-tier League A and has yet to score a goal. In League B, the Czech Repub­lic got its first win in the new com­pe­ti­tion — beat­ing host Slo­vakia 2-1 — and Ire­land and Den­mark drew 0-0. In League D, Gi­bral­tar won its first com­pet­i­tive game on a mem­o­rable night for the tiny ter­ri­tory.

Here’s a closer look at Satur­day’s games:

Fol­low­ing its dis­as­trous World Cup de­fence in Rus­sia, Ger­many has been un­der pres­sure to show some progress but it didn’t come at the Jo­han Cruyff Arena on Satur­day night. The Ger­mans failed to score for the third straight com­pet­i­tive game, in­clud­ing a hu- mil­i­at­ing 2-0 loss to South Korea in Rus­sia and a 0-0 draw with France at home in the Na­tions League.

Cap­tain Vir­gil van Dijk scored only his sec­ond in­ter­na­tional goal be­fore Mem­phis De­pay and Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum added two more as the Dutch ran riot late in the game.

The com­pre­hen­sive de­feat left Ger­many at the bot­tom of Group1with a sin­gle point, days be­fore it heads to Paris to take on group leader and World Cup cham­pion France.

France leads the Dutch by a point at the top of the stand­ings.

“Why are we not scor­ing? That’s dif­fi­cult to an­swer, we have clear chances,” Ger­many coach Joachim Loew said.

Ger­many’s scor­ing woes were per­son­i­fied by Loew’s de­ci­sion to play Mark Uth as a lone striker de­spite the 27-year-old Schalke player fail­ing to score a goal this sea­son. Uth was sub­sti­tuted in the sec­ond half.

Gi­bral­tar’s na­tional team recorded its first vic­tory in a com­pet­i­tive match, a 1-0 win at Ar­me­nia, af­ter los­ing its pre­vi­ous 22 com­pet­i­tive games.

Joseph Chipolina got the his­toric win­ner from the penalty spot in the Group 4 game in League D. Gi­bral­tar play­ers had to lis­ten to the na­tional an­them of Liecht­en­stein be­fore the match, a mis­take for which Ar­me­nia FA apol­o­gized.

Gi­bral­tar hosts Liecht­en­stein on Tues­day.

Mace­do­nia kept a per­fect record with a 4-1 vic­tory over Licht­en­stein to lead with nine points. The other three teams are tied on three points.

In Group 1 of League D, Ge­or­gia beat­An­dorra 3-0 to move up to nine points. Latvia and Kaza­khstan drew 1-1, pulling even with An­dorra at two points.

Sub­sti­tute striker Pa­trik Schick scored the win­ning goal for the vis­it­ing Czech Repub­lic to beat Slo­vakia 2-1 in Tr­nava. Three min­utes af­ter com­ing off the bench, Schick rose in the area in the 76th minute to head in a cross from cap­tain Borek Dockal.

It was the first win for the Czechs in the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter los­ing to Ukraine.

Ukraine leads Group 1 in sec­ond-tier League B.

Ire­land drew with Den­mark in Group 4. Den­mark tops the group with four points, one more than Wales in sec­ond. Ire­land has one point.

Ole Sel­naes scored the only goal for Nor­way to beat Slove­nia 1-0 in Group 3 of League C for its sec­ond win and trail leader Bul­garia by three points. Bul­garia beat Cyprus 2-1. Cyprus has three points while Slove­nia is on zero.

DEAN MOUHTAROPOULOS GETTY IM­AGES

Vir­gil van Dijk scores the Nether­lands’ first goal in a 3-0 win over Ger­many in UEFA Na­tions League play Satur­day in Am­s­ter­dam.

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