In the most recent Nations League matchup, Spain handed Germany its worst defeat for the first time in 89 years, winning 6-0 to advance to the final four. Ferran Torres scored a hat trick to lead Spain to the historic victory in the crucial match in Group 4. Germany have not been beaten so heavily since losing to Austria by the same scoreline in a friendly in 1931.
Germany’s only five-goal loss in a competitive match had been West Germany’s 8-3 defeat to Hungary at the 1954 World Cup group stage. West Germany went on to beat Hungary in the final, while the friendlies in Austria in 1931 handed them the 6-0 score. Meanwhile, the victory ended a three-match winless streak for Spain, which hasn’t gone four games without a win since the late 1980s.
Juventus strikerAlvaro Morata, Manchester City’s Ferran and Rodri gave Luis Enrique’s side a 3-0 halftime lead, while Ferranstruck again early in the second half and completed his hat-trickwith a classy finish. Substitute Mikel Oyarzabal tapped in the sixth goal in the 89th minute to hit an incredible Spain display to end the match without conceding a goal.
The four-time world champions have not won a single major tournament since winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where they handed a historic defeat on the hosts in the semifinals. “We wanted to be courageous,” Joachim Low said. “But nothing worked out. We threw away our concept after the 1-0. We stormed out of position, opened spaces. There was no organization. There was no communication.”
Germany were without injured Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich and RB Leipzig full-back Lukas Klostermann as well as Chelsea’s Kai Havertz, who tested positive for the coronavirus. “It’s probably not the most bitter defeat of my career, but surely one of the biggest,” midfielder Toni Kroos said to the German television station ARD after the game.
In the qualifier last year, Kroos struck twice as Germany qualified for the European Championship with a 4-0 win over Belarus. Low’s Germany have qualified for the Euro finals for a record 13th time in a row. Germany were drawn along with defending champions Portugal, World Cup winner France and play-offs winner Hungary.
Despite the historic defeat, Germany’s general manager Oliver Bierhoff backed under-fire manager Joachim Low saying that “the game today changes nothing” amid Low’s worries about his job. “In 2014, Brazil fell apart on the pitch and it happened to us today. I hope it’s a singular event,” Bierhoff said. “[Low] still has our trust, and the game today changes nothing.”
Last year, Spain failed to advance to the Final Four after conceding late in a match against Croatia. “It’s important to get back to winning with a great performance like this,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said. “We have to enjoy this great result.” Spain join France in final four, while Croatia avoid relegation as Sweden finish bottom and will be relegated to the second-tier League B for the next edition of the competition.