Die Mannschaft suffered a defeat in their penultimate friendly before the European Championship in France. Joachim Löw’s side were beaten 3-1 by Slovakia in Augsburg, after taking the lead through Mario Gomez early on. Marek Hamsik equalised late in the first half, before Michal Duris made it 2-1 just before the break.
The conditions were made more difficult at half time, when hail, thunder and lightning delayed the second half by 25 minutes. The heavily saturated pitch made it very difficult for the team to play fluid football and the killer blow came in the 53rd minute when Juraj Kucka made it 3-1 to the Slovakian side.
Leno was one of two players to make their national team debut, with FC Bayern München's Joshua Kimmich also earning a first cap in the senior team. The match was the final game before head coach Joachim Löw announces his 23-man squad for the EUROs. World Champions Mats Hummels, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer, Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller, as well as Marco Reus and Karim Bellarabi did not make the trip to Augsburg and instead stayed in the team hotel in Ascona. Lukas Podolski joined the team in Augsburg following his cup victory with Galatasaray. Toni Kroos won the Champions League with Real Madrid on Saturday and will also join the squad in the coming days.
Germany took control from the start in front of 30,000 spectators in Augsburg. They created their first opportunity after just three minutes, when a corner from Mario Götze nearly led to Jerome Boateng’s first international goal, but Slovakia keeper Kozacik made a finger-tip save to keep the score level. He was beaten ten minutes later, however, as Gomez converted from the penalty spot.
Germany remained in control and continued to create chances. Leroy Sané had an opportunity to double the advantage, but Kozacik prevailed again. Julian Draxler then fired a volley just a little too high after a fine ball from skipper Sami Khedira.
Germany keeper Bernd Leno had a quiet first half until the 40th minute when he conceded an unexpected equaliser. Marek Hamsik found space midway into the Germany half and struck a powerful shot into the top corner. Four minutes later, Slovakia completed the comeback when Duris nodded home from a corner kick - the visitors using their only two chances in the space of four minutes to turn the game on its head.
There were three changes to the team in the second half, with Marc-André ter Stegen, Julian Brandt and Julian Weigl coming on for Leno, Gomez und Khedira. Germany struggled to adapt to the difficult conditions and were punished early on when ter Stegen misjudged Kucka’s volleyed effort, which trickled through his legs to make it 3-1.
Benedikt Höwedes replaced Boateng in the 64th minute, making his first appearance in the national team for over a year, before debutant Brandt was denied a superb assist when defender Martin Skrtel stepped in to prevent Götze from scoring.
The team will now return to the training camp in Ticino, where they will continue their preparations for the EUROs until 3rd June. Löw will announce his 23-man squad this coming Tuesday ahead of the final friendly next Saturday in Gelsenkirchen (18:00 CEST).