Euro host Germany warms up in 0-0 draw with Ukraine. England, Croatia ease to 3-0 prep wins

Host Germany and England kicked off the true buildup to the European Championship with their first warmup games on Monday, only after Real Madrid capped the club season by signing Kylian Mbappé.

About 90 minutes after France captain Mbappé finally confirmed he was joining the new Champions League winner, Germany put national team action on midsummer’s center stage in an enterprising 0-0 draw with Ukraine.

England got off to a slow start before a second half surge in a 3-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, including a national record-extending 63rd goal for Harry Kane, who went on as a substitute.

Croatia, another of the European powers, eased to a 3-0 win over North Macedonia.

All three Euro 2024 contenders were without their Madrid stars — Toni Kroos, Jude Bellingham and Luka Modrić — who are resting this week after their title win on Saturday against Borussia Dortmund.

It was a night for untested lineups to search for some rhythm in their play and debuts given to several emerging talents ahead of rosters being finalized on Friday.

Germany’s 21-year-old forward Maximilian Beier almost scored with his first shot in international soccer, striking the underside of the bar in the 60th minute. It was one of 26 attempts on the Ukraine goal by coach Julian Nagelsmann’s team.

The roster deadline is one week before Germany opens its home tournament against Scotland in Munich on June 14.

Scotland stepped up its preparations with a modest 2-0 win against Gibraltar, which extended its run of losses to 13 games.

Albania, which is in the same Euro 2024 group as Croatia, cruised past Liechtenstein 3-0.


Hoffenheim forward Beier somehow did not score as a second-half substitute in his Germany debut. After immediately rattling the crossbar, Beier was denied three minutes later by goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin’s diving save, then he sent a stooping header wide of the goal.

Nagelsmann also gave a debut to Bayern Munich’s 20-year-old midfielder Aleksandar Pavlović.

The head of Germany’s federal government, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, was at the game in Nuremberg, which is not among the 10 Euro 2024 venues.

Both Germany and Ukraine start their tournament in Munich. Ukraine begins against Romania on June 17, three days after Germany meets Scotland in Bayern’s home stadium.

Scotland took time to find an edge against minnow Gibraltar, missing a slew of first-half chances, and got second-half goals from Ryan Christie and Ché Adams. They have more responsibility after regular No. 9 Lyndon Dykes was ruled out of Euro 2024 last week after being injured in training.


Harry Kane has 62 more goals for England than Cole Palmer but the emerging Chelsea playmaker scored the first of what should be many for the Three Lions.

Palmer has been a penalty specialist for his club and was able to take a 60th-minute spot kick to open the scoring as Kane was still on the bench.

Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield for England has been an experiment Liverpool fans want to see, and the long-time right back was advanced in the Bosnian penalty area to score with a volleyed shot in the 85th.

Kane pounced to score in goalmouth congestion in the 89th to seal a good outing in Newcastle for the Euro 2021 beaten finalist.

Coach Gareth Southgate gave first appearances to Crystal Palace midfielder Adam Wharton — whose club teammate Eberechi Eze impressed in the first half — and Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite.

England starts Euro 2024 against Serbia on June 16.


Mateo Kovacic made his 100th appearance for Croatia in a comfortable win over North Macedonia, the surprise qualifier for Euro 2021.

Lovro Majer, who plays in Germany for Wolfsburg, scored twice in the first half before Germany-born Marco Pašalić got the third.

Croatia faces Spain in the standout game of day two of the tournament, June 15, in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Also in Group B, Albania plays Italy in Dortmund on the same day.


AP soccer:

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