Germany Gets Late Goal to Draw 1-1 with Switzerland and Finish Top of Euro 2024 Group 

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer reacts to a goal attempt by his teammate during a Group A match between Switzerland and Germany at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024. (AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer reacts to a goal attempt by his teammate during a Group A match between Switzerland and Germany at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024. (AP)
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Germany Gets Late Goal to Draw 1-1 with Switzerland and Finish Top of Euro 2024 Group 

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer reacts to a goal attempt by his teammate during a Group A match between Switzerland and Germany at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024. (AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer reacts to a goal attempt by his teammate during a Group A match between Switzerland and Germany at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024. (AP)

They all jumped for the ball in a frantic late push for the goal that would save Germany from its first loss at the European Championship, against an impressive Switzerland team.

Defender Nico Schlotterbeck leaped up, next to the even more imposing center-back Antonio Rüdiger, who reached highest of all. In front of them both was substitute Niclas Füllkrug.

The German trio was circled by three Swiss opponents trying to protect a 1-0 lead two minutes into stoppage time. Six pairs of feet off the ground in unison, straining to be the one to head the ball.

It was Füllkrug who won the contest, guiding the ball crossed from another substitute David Raum back across Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer into the top corner of the net. The match ended 1-1.

“We risked a lot in this phase because we could have conceded a second goal,” Germany coach Julian Nagelesmann said about throwing his defenders into attack. “Who doesn’t dare to risk, doesn’t get to draw.”

Germany had already advanced to the round of 16 before kickoff Sunday, but a draw felt like a win in the circumstances and kept the momentum of impressive wins against Scotland and Hungary.

“When you see how the Germans celebrated their goal that says everything,” said Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka, named player of the match.

Switzerland impressed while protecting a 28th-minute goal from Dan Ndoye’s clever volleyed shot, and chasing a bigger lead. A second goal was denied by a marginal offside ruling against Ruben Vargas and a fine save by Manuel Neuer from Xhaka's shot.

The point for each team ensured Germany finished top and Switzerland second in Group A. Hungary took third place in the standings with an even later stoppage-time goal to beat Scotland 1-0 in Stuttgart.

Germany now goes to Dortmund for a round of 16 game Saturday against the runner-up in Group C. That opponent can be any of the four teams — England, Slovenia, Denmark or Serbia — playing their final round of Group C games on Tuesday.

Nagelsmann acknowledged Germany's opponent might not like having two fewer days of rest, though added: “We have to prepare for four teams, they only have to prepare for one team.”

Switzerland heads to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin to open the round of 16 on Saturday against the runner-up in Group B, likely Italy or Croatia. They meet Monday in their decisive group game.

Coach Murat Yakin suggested Switzerland had earned the right to make a higher-ranked opponent concerned about his unbeaten team.

“I think we have a certain standing which we worked hard for. We‘re on a good path,” Yakin said, “without a defeat, with a very good style of play. We like being the dark horse.”

Switzerland’s goal was made in Bologna, the upstart Italian club that has qualified for its first Champions League entry next season.

Ndoye timed his run to meet a floated pass across the goalmouth from his Bologna teammate Remo Freuler. The attack began when Fabian Rieder, making his first start since the 2022 World Cup, won the ball in the German half and then fed Freuler.

A video review had denied Germany taking the lead in the 17th. Robert Andrich’s long-range shot bounced up and over the dive of Sommer, but the VAR team alerted Italian referee Daniele Orsato to an earlier foul in the goalmouth by Jamal Musiala.

The much-criticized Waldstadion playing surface behaved better Sunday and the roof stayed closed to protect it though no more rain is forecast for at least five days.

The turf cut up during both previous Euro 2024 games in Frankfurt. It has seemed not to bed in properly since being laid in November after the stadium hosted two NFL games.

Frankfurt will host two more games, finishing with a round of 16 match that will include Group F winner Portugal perhaps facing Hungary, which faces a three-day wait to learn its fate.



Buoyant Hamilton Seeking to Keep Momentum and More Records

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP)
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Buoyant Hamilton Seeking to Keep Momentum and More Records

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP)

A buoyant Lewis Hamilton heads into this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix on the crest of a wave, seeking a record-increasing ninth Hungaroring victory and Mercedes' third consecutive win of the season.
After two years of struggles, Hamilton ended his long winless run at the British Grand Prix with a record ninth home triumph at Silverstone and hopes to repeat that feat in forecast intense heat at the track where last year he secured his most recent pole position, AFP said.
Following his emotional success in front of an adoring crowd in the English rain, Hamilton said he felt excited at the prospect of returning to a track where he has scored several memorable victories in his career.
"I love Hungary," he said. "And so I am definitely looking forward to going there. The trajectory we're now on and the fact that the car is starting to really, really come alive and feel great. I can't wait."
The 39-year-old seven-time world champion won at the Hungaroring -- a tight, twisty and often dusty circuit 22 kilometers north of Budapest -- in his debut season for McLaren in 2007 and again in 2009 and 2012.
After switching to Mercedes, he continued to relish the unique challenge of a track often described as 'Monaco without the walls' and won again in 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
If he secures a podium finish this Sunday, it will be the 200th of his career, a pole position would be a record-extending 10th, landmark achievements that set him apart as he bids to add to team-mate George Russell's victory in Austria and his own in Britain.
He and Russell know, however, that they will not be favorites despite their recent successes as defending three-time champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull bids to complete a hat-trick of Hungarian wins after triumphs in 2022 and last year.
"Last year was brilliant," said Verstappen. "I have good memories of racing here and last year achieved our 12th win in a row. So, hopefully, we can have a great race again."
Midway point
The Dutchman leads the title race by 84 points ahead of nearest rival and friend Lando Norris of McLaren as the season crosses the midway point after 12 of the scheduled 24 races.
Team boss Christian Horner expects a close scrap.
"It's going to be interesting to see how we perform there," he said.
"It could be very hot and I think it will be the usual people who are quick at the moment and it will be very, very close again."
That suggests Horner considers Red Bull will be fighting with McLaren and Mercedes on recent evidence, but with Ferrari likely to return to form on a tighter circuit –- not unlike Monaco where Charles Leclerc gained an emotional home win in May.
With the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps following immediately, within a week, the double-header offers an opportunity for teams to make a telling impact before Formula One takes its annual 'summer shutdown' during August.
This will translate as more pressure for struggling Sergio Perez of Red Bull who is hoping to escape a nightmare run having scored only 15 points in his last six outings since agreeing a new contract.
Ferrari are also in need of a solid result from Leclerc but have struggled with a recent upgrade package that failed.
"When you're at the sharp end, it's all marginal gains," said Horner. "Mercedes were very quick at Silverstone, took pole and the front row and then executed a good race... at least Lewis did."
His Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff admitted: "We have momentum and gained headline results in Austria and at Silverstone, but we don't yet have a car to challenge for victories every weekend.
"The Hungaroring is very different in character to the last two circuits. We will focus on doing the best we can and hope to maintain our trajectory."