De Bruyne stars to lead Belgium to victory in a friendly against Germany

De Bruyne stars to lead Belgium to victory in a friendly against Germany

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Kevin De Bruyne led Belgium to a 3-2 friendly win over Germany on Tuesday as new coach Domenico Tedesco returned home.

De Bruyne set up both opening goals to seal victory as Germany threatened to equalize after a poor opening half hour.

It gave former Leipzig and Schalke coach Tedesco a second win in his first two games since qualifying for Euro 2024 with a 3-0 win in Sweden last week.

Yannick Carrasco opened the scoring in the sixth man after he easily eluded Germany right-back Mariusz Wolff and slotted De Bruyne’s left-footed ball past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. De Bruyne was involved again three minutes later when Romelu Lukaku made it 2-0.

Germany’s defense was shaky in the absence of Real Madrid’s Antonio Rudiger and Borussia Dortmund’s Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck. Neither Matthias Ginter nor Thilo Kehrer could capitalize on their absence.

Dodi Lukebakio should have made it 3-0, Lukaku hit the crossbar, and David Raum scored an own goal as the game continued in one direction.

Leon Goretzka went off in the 32nd match with an apparent ankle injury – bad news for Bayern Munich ahead of Saturday’s “klassiker” against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund – and Germany coach Hansi Flick also dropped the ineffective Florian Wirtz, bringing in more defensively. Emre Can and Wolfsburg midfielder Felix Nmecha figured for his debut.

The changes were immediate, with Germany switching to a 4-3-3 formation.

Nicklas Fulkrug scored in the 44th with a penalty after his header hit Lukaku’s hand and the Belgian was awarded a penalty.

The home side continued their renaissance with a possible save before the break and cheered on by a relieved crowd.

Timo Werner had a goal ruled out for offside, Fulcrug headed over and Joshua Kimmich, playing in goal for regular No. 1 Thibaut Courtrois, checked out Kone Casteels with what the team said was a “slight adductor strain.”

A counter strike in the 78th sealed victory for Belgium as the home team attacked.

Kevin Shade set up Serge Gnabry for a late consolation before the visitors held on in the dying minutes.

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