Euro 2024: Germany’s Manuel Neuer dubs Swiss draw a “victory”

Manuel Neuer said Germany‘s 1-1 draw against Switzerland felt like a “victory” and hailed the impact of the hosts’ substitutes in a match that saw them finish as Group A winners.

Germany fell behind to a Dan Ndoye goal in the first half and were frustrated by missed chances until substitute Niclas Füllkrug rose to head them level in the 92nd minute to maintain their seven-match unbeaten run dating back to November.

Another substitute, David Raum, provided the cross for the equalising goal, while 21-year-old Maximilian Beier also impressed off the bench as Germany dominated the last 20 minutes.

“You should never write off a team, especially ours, especially with the substitutions we were able to make,” Neuer told reporters after the game. “The players who came on were a breath of fresh air and the result feels a bit like a victory.”

Germany had found it hard to break down a resolute Swiss side before Füllkrug’s goal, something they will have to improve on in the knockout rounds where they face the runner-up in Group C in Dortmund on Saturday.

“The Swiss did well, they were always tight and pressed us,” Neuer said.

Right back Joshua Kimmich acknowledged Germany had failed to reach the heights of their first two games in the pool against Scotland (5-1) and Hungary (2-0) and said they must find that level again if they are to claim a first Euros title since 1996.

“We weren’t quite as good over the 90 minutes [as in the first two games] and I think a draw was a fair result. We can be satisfied with the point,” Kimmich said.

Beier, who made his Euros debut in only his second cap, said the half-time message from coach Julian Nagelsmann was to move the ball quicker.

“Let the ball run faster to make the gaps bigger, that worked better in the second half,” he said. “The Swiss are a good opponent, they didn’t make it easy for us.”

Hungary finished on three points in Group A after a 1-0 win over Scotland and must wait to find out if they will be one of the four best third-place finishers who advance to the round of 16. Scotland, who posted just one point in their three games, have been eliminated.