Leroy Sane’s red card for lashing out at an opponent led to Germany’s 2-0 defeat to Austria in Vienna, continuing their poor form just over six months ahead of hosting Euro 2024.
Austria’s goals from Marcel Sabitzer and Christoph Baumgartner, combined with Sane’s red card for making contact with an opposing player’s face, made it a tough night for Julian Nagelsmann’s team in the friendly.
Sane received his first red card in a career spanning over 400 games, forcing Germany to play with a man down for most of the second half.
Germany captain Ilkay Gundogan told TV network ZDF, “I think the red card for Leroy just sums it all up: the frustration, the disappointment.”
Sane later apologized to fans and teammates on social media, acknowledging the inappropriateness of the incident.
Germany’s coach, Nagelsmann, emphasized the need for “extremely hard work” to turn things around.
Austria forward Michael Gregoritsch described the victory as “extremely nice, extremely sweet… it was a nice conclusion to the season”.
Austria have continued an impressive run under former Manchester United coach Ralf Rangnick, winning seven and losing just one of their ten matches in 2023 while qualifying for Euro 2024.
Rangnick praised his players for their courage, pleasure, and enjoyment in the game.
With eight of Austria’s starting XI playing in the German Bundesliga, the home side refused to be awed by their decorated neighbours, cutting gaping holes in the visitors’ backline from the opening whistle.
Germany’s loss to Austria marks just the third defeat in 29 encounters with their neighbours since the teams’ semi-final clash at the 1954 World Cup.
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