Nagelsmann has been busy shaping his team since taking over from Hansi Flick. This effort resulted in a victory against the United States (1-3) in October but also a draw against Mexico (2-2). The coach is still fine-tuning the squad for the upcoming European Championship in their home country. In the match against Turkey, Nagelsmann had a unique experiment in mind, deploying Kai Havertz as a left-back. When in possession, the Arsenal midfielder was expected to join the attack.
Nagelsmann's tactical move appeared to be a success, as Havertz opened the scoring early on at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. The home ground of Hertha BSC was also well-filled with Turkish supporters, given the large Turkish community in the German capital. About ten percent of Berlin's residents have Turkish roots. They witnessed Havertz making it 1-0 after a well-timed run on the right flank by Benjamin Henrichs, who played the ball to the makeshift left-back.
The attacking impetus displayed by Germany in the early stages turned out to be short-lived. The home team struggled to create danger, and in the first half, Havertz's goal was the only German shot on target. Turkey, after a period of waiting, proved to be highly effective. It started with Ferdi Kadioglu, the former NEC player now with Fenerbahçe, who equalized after 38 minutes, making it 1-1. The versatile technician, playing as Turkey's left-back against Germany, reacted well to an opening from Abdülkerim Bardakci, cut onto his right foot, and scored. It was Kadioglu's first goal for Turkey.
Before halftime, Germany suffered another blow. Kenan Yildiz scored to make it 1-2. It was a special goal for the eighteen-year-old forward from Juventus. Not only did he score his first international goal in his second appearance for Turkey, but he also did it against his country of birth. Yildiz was born in Regensburg in 2005 and spent ten years in the youth academy of Bayern Munich.
The second half started well for Germany, as Niclas Füllkrug quickly equalized with a skillful individual effort, making it 2-2. However, things took a turn for the worse again. Turkey had already given a warning when substitute Salih Özcan hit the post from a distance. After seventy minutes, the visitors were awarded a penalty for a handball by Havertz. Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp got a touch on it with his hand but couldn't prevent Yusuf Sari from making it 2-3. Germany had no response thereafter and suffered their first defeat under Nagelsmann.