Germany relegated from Nations League top tier to cap miserable 2018

Germany have been relegated from League A of the inaugural Nations League, as a dreadful 2018 for Joachim Low’s side got even worse.

Netherlands’ impressive 2-0 home victory over world champions France in Rotterdam on Friday ensured Germany will finish bottom of Group 1 in League A, which is the UEFA competition’s top tier.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s strike just before half-time and a stoppage-time penalty from Memphis Depay sealed the 2014 World Cup winners’ fate.

Germany’s relegation comes with a game to spare – they still have to host Netherlands on Monday having only picked up one point from their three Nations League games to date.

They join Iceland and Poland in being relegated from the top tier. Croatia or England will join that trio in League B next season.

Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Denmark are among the teams that could replace Germany in League A, with Russia or Sweden to fill the final spot and play at a higher level than Germany in the 2020-21 competition.

Germany’s Nations League relegation comes after a humiliating World Cup title defence saw them crash out of this year’s showpiece in Russia at the first hurdle, failing to get out of the group stage.

They lost to Mexico and South Korea at the World Cup, going out in the first round for the first time since 1938.

Germany have won just four of the 12 matches they’ve played in 2018 as the pressure ramps up on manager Joachim Low.

Three of those victories came in friendlies against Saudi Arabia, Peru and Russia prior to the World Cup, whilst the other came when a late Toni Kroos goal saw them snatch a win in their group match against Sweden at the World Cup.

In early July, Low informed the German Football Association that he wanted to continue in his role as manager despite their hugely disappointing World Cup campaign. At that time officials told him that he retained their full backing.

But a series of poor results since then will surely have brought his future as manager into question.

The 58-year-old has been in charge of the national side since 2006 and is the longest serving manager of any of the current European national team coaches.

 

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