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Germany claim late win in final tune-up match ahead of home Euro 2024

Germany's Pascal Gross (2nd L) celebrates his side's second goal of the game with the team during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Federico Gambarini/dpa

Germany claimed a late 2-1 win against Greece on Friday in their final tune-up match ahead of the Euro 2024 on home soil, which starts in a week.

The Greeks took the lead with Giorgos Masouras in the 34th minute, before Kai Havertz equalized in the 56th.

Not much happened in the second half until Benjamin Henrichs' powerful strike hit the woodwork in the 83rd before substitute Pascal Gross struck a beautiful effort to give Germany the win in the 89th.

Coach Julian Nagelsmann still has some work to do, but the victory was important to start the home tournament next week in good spirits, especially after a goalless draw with Ukraine on Monday.

"We know that having a bad half is part of football," Toni Kroos told broadcasters RTL of the first part of the game.

"But I think we came back much better. We clearly improved in the second half," he said.

Nagelsmann started the game with his preferred line up for the Euros. Antonio Rüdiger and Kroos returned to the starting formation after they missed the Ukraine match following their Champions League triumph with Real Madrid.

Substitute Leroy Sané also made his national team comeback after missing the past three games due to a suspension. He has also been suffering from pubic bone issues, but was still included in Nagelsmann's final squad for the Euros.

Goalkeeper Alexander Nübel, however, was dropped from the group.

Germany start the Euro 2024 against Scotland on June 14 in Munich. The hosts also face Hungary and Switzerland in the group stage as they hope to go all the way to the final in Berlin on July 14.

Greece had the first good chance of the game in the seventh minute when Christos Tzolis was completely free and made an effort from the penalty spot. He was denied by Manuel Neuer, who then stopped Tzolis again in the rebound.

The guests were the best team on the pitch, but the pace slowed down until Greece deservedly broke the deadlock in the 34th.

A sloppy pass from Jonathan Tah in the build-up gave Greece the ball near Germany's box. Tzolis attempted the shot but was blocked by Neuer. The goalkeeper, however, couldn't stop Masouras in the rebound.

Germany almost had a quick answer and thought they were level in the 43rd, but Havertz's goal was disallowed for offside. The Arsenal player had another great chance shortly after the break, but keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos raised his leg to make a big save with his foot.

Havertz eventually got his goal in the 56th and equalized for Germany after his left-footed effort was deflected into the net by Manolis Siopis.

It seemed like the 1-1 draw would prevail after Henrichs hit the woodwork with his shot from distance in the 83rd. But the Greek defence failed to clear the ball away from the danger zone and it fell to Gross, who didn't waste his chance to give his side the win.

Germany's Pascal Gross (C) celebrates his side's second goal of the game with teammate David Raum (R) during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa
Germany's Pascal Gross (C) celebrates his side's second goal of the game with teammate David Raum (R) during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa
Germany's Kai Havertz (R) scores his side's first goal of the game during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Christian Charisius/dpa
Germany's Kai Havertz (R) scores his side's first goal of the game during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Christian Charisius/dpa
Germany's Kai Havertz (2nd L) reacts after his goal during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. David Inderlied/dpa
Germany's Kai Havertz (2nd L) reacts after his goal during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. David Inderlied/dpa
Germany's Kai Havertz (C) celebrates next to Jonathan Tah after his goal during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. David Inderlied/dpa
Germany's Kai Havertz (C) celebrates next to Jonathan Tah after his goal during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. David Inderlied/dpa
Germany's Jamal Musiala (C) and (L-R) Greece's players Lazaros Rota, Manolis Siopis and Petros Mantalos battle for the ball during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Christian Charisius/dpa
Germany's Jamal Musiala (C) and (L-R) Greece's players Lazaros Rota, Manolis Siopis and Petros Mantalos battle for the ball during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Christian Charisius/dpa
Germany's Kai Havertz (2nd R) scores his side's goal during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Federico Gambarini/dpa
Germany's Kai Havertz (2nd R) scores his side's goal during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Federico Gambarini/dpa
(L-R) Greece's Petros Mantalos in and Germany's Pascal Gross and David Raum battle for the ball during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Federico Gambarini/dpa
(L-R) Greece's Petros Mantalos in and Germany's Pascal Gross and David Raum battle for the ball during the International Friendly soccer match between Germany and Greece at BORUSSIA-PARK, as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2024. Federico Gambarini/dpa