Julian Nagelsmann of Germany fumes over handball decision

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Julian Nagelsmann, lamented the decision not to give his Germany team a handball in their quarterfinal Euro 2024 loss to Spain. It resulted in the hosts’ elimination from the competition.

The teams battled it out at a boisterous Stuttgart Arena. The game was deep in the 119th minute and appeared to be headed to a penalty shootout . Until substitute Merino rose to head home the winning goal from Dani Olmo’s cross.

In an attempt to find an equaliser, Germany’s coach Julian Nagelsmann made five substitutions. His gamble paid off in the 89th minute. Florian Wirtz who was the Bundesliga’s player of the year for champions Bayer Leverkusen. He hammered home a shot from Joshua Kimmich’s header to send the game into overtime.
But when it mattered most, Spain found a different gear, leaving the German supporters inside the stadium devastated as their hard-working team lost by the slimmest of margins.

In an attempt to stop a counterattack Fullback Dani Carvajal tackled Jamal Musiala. Germany put a lot of effort into trying to tie the game late on. The referee showed a red card to Dani Carvajal for the tackle.
He, along with centre back Robin Le Normand, will now miss Spain’s semi-final match against France, which takes place later on Friday.

Six minutes after the break, Olmo gave Spain a well-earned lead with a first-time shot into the bottom corner. Spain had been the better team for the first hour and had missed several chances.

After Germany tied the score in the 89th minute, the match went into extra time. Mikel Merino of Spain scored the winning goal in the 119th.

But if Germany’s appeals for a penalty had not been turned down when the ball struck Marc Cucurella’s hand in extra time, the outcome of the match might have been different.

Reaction of the German Boss

Nagelsmann criticised the choice, pointing out that contemporary technology could streamline the procedure and that it was important to consider the impact of the possible handball. That would have prevented a shot that was certain to be on target.

“I don’t want to talk too much about it [the handball],” Nagelsmann said, “but it would be nice if it would be assessed what is the intention. It’s not possible in football if someone shoots into the stand and hits a hand, it’s never [a penalty], but when [the ball is] clearly going towards goal and hits a hand, you can’t talk about intention. “You have to see where the shot is aimed. We have 50 robots bringing us coffee, so there should be an AI calculating crosses, shots, where they are going. It’s quite simple. We should really assess where the shot is going, but that is not the only reason we lost the game.”

While congratulating Spain on their win, Nagelsmann expressed his disappointment for his players given their tremendous effort.

“The whole game was too open, and then in the second half, we reacted with our personnel in a good way and we came better into the game,” “And after the 60th minute, we were clearly the better team with many clear chances and towards the end I think that we scored was well deserved.
“With the exception of the first five minutes of the second half of extra time, I think it was almost only us who wanted to win.” “I think what was reproached towards the national team in the past, that they didn’t want to win, that they didn’t show enough will to win, I think today you couldn’t see that for one second,”

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