Dennis Kutrieb warmed up for the England-Germany knockout clash at Euro2020 with his own display in a national shirt as German fans took on their Three Lions counterparts in a friendly at Rectory Park, Northolt, on Monday night.
Home of the Middlesex FA, Rectory Park welcomed the two international supporter squads who stood for anthems and unveiled an anti-racism message prior to kick-off.
Skippered by Dennis Kutrieb and assisted from the bench by his Fleet coach and fellow countryman Chris Franks, Fan Club Nationalmannschaft took an early lead but the Official England Fans team had recovered to lead 3-1 by half-time. In front of a camera crew from Sky Sports, Germany pulled it back to 3-2 and the Fleet boss got his side’s fourth goal, while also setting up what proved to be an offside fifth. England – who included former Havant & Waterlooville striker Tony Taggart in their lineup – rallied, meanwhile, to run out 9-4 winners (though in EUFC circles, we counted just the eight!).
Wearing the No.10 shirt, the Fleet manager controlled the play from the middle, adopting a holding role early on but could be found down the right wing and in defence for parts of the game, while also taking a mean set-piece or two!
Despite the 9-4 final scoreline, the temptation to take it to penalties proved too much. Dennis blasted home Germany’s second but with the scores at 3-3 heading towards sudden death, the visitors fired their last spot-kick over the bar and England claimed the shootout bragging rights as well. The English had also just come off the back of a morale-boosting 10-2 destruction of Scotland’s Tartan Army Fans!
As Dennis explained in his post-match interview (see video above), the German side were depleted because their regular fans’ side would have had to quarantine following travel from Europe, so the Fleet boss was called on to assemble a side of English-based players at short notice – as well as play the full 90 minutes himself!