Schulz nets late winner as Germany beat Holland in five-goal thriller

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Germany made a winning start to their European Championship qualifying campaign with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Holland in Amsterdam.

First-half goals from Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry put the visitors in control but, just like the last time the two sides met, Holland hit back to draw level as Matthijs De Ligt and Memphis Depay struck early in the second half.

That was not the end of the drama however, as Nico Schulz scored a last-minute winner.

Germany boss Joachim Low will hope this is the start of a successful new era for his previously out of form team.

Low has made significant changes to his squad following the disappointment of last summer’s group stage exit at the World Cup, effectively calling time on the international careers of Bayern Munich trio Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller.

His new-look team started well and Sane created a good early chance for Gnabry but his shot was too close to Jasper Cillessen, who pushed the ball away to safety.

Low’s side made the breakthrough after 15 minutes when Toni Kroos’ ball in behind the Dutch defence found the run of Schulz and his cross fell nicely for Sane to fire a finish across Cillessen and into the far corner of the net.

Germany were now clearly full of confidence – keeping possession well, pressing Holland when they had the ball and breaking forward in numbers when turning it over.

However, despite being second best thus far, Holland had two glorious chances to equalise just before the half-hour mark. Both fell to Ryan Babel and on each occasion, with only Manuel Neuer to beat, he hit his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

They proved to be costly misses as Gnabry doubled Germany’s lead after 34 minutes. Some uncharacteristically casual defending from Virgil Van Dijk allowed the Bayern Munich winger to cut infield where he curled a shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area.

Germany fancied a third goal before half-time and Cillessen had to make saves to deny Thilo Kehrer and Sane.

Germany squandered a two-goal lead when the sides met in the Nations League clash last year – and history was about to repeat itself.

De Ligt glanced home a header from a flat Depay cross just three minutes into the second half and the comeback was on.

Holland were pressing the ball higher now, giving their opponents less time in possession and Germany were being forced into mistakes.

It was an error that led to the equalising goal after 63 minutes. Depay somehow managed to get the better of two German defenders before dragging his shot away from Neuer and into the bottom corner of the net after being teed up by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Holland could smell blood and had a few shots from long range that never troubled Neuer. Meanwhile, Germany attempted to take the sting out of the match and slow down the pace to try and re-establish some control.

It seemed the visitors had perhaps settled for a draw but then with their only real attacking spell of the second half they won the game.

With five minutes remaining, Gnabry turned Van Dijk one way then the other before forcing Cillessen to make a fine save by his near post.

Then in the final minute, a good move down the left involving substitutes Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan was rounded off by Schulz who steered his shot from 12 yards out into the bottom corner of the net.

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