Germany have been topped European U21 champions for a 3rd time after Lukas Nmecha scored the one aim in Sunday’s last.
Germany 1-0 Portugal
Targets: 1-0 Nmecha (49’)
Stefan Kuntz’s facet began the sport slowly in Slovenia, with Tiago Tomas firing broad and Diogo Dalot having a shot blocked by Arminia Bielefeld defender Amos Pieper. Florian Wirtz, who bought each Germany’s targets of their 2-1 semi-final win over the Netherlands, then got here agonisingly shut when his deflected strike got here off the bar. With Wirtz, Ridle Baku and Arne Maier all influential, Germany dominated from the fifteenth minute of the primary half, with Nmecha seeing his dinked effort nicely saved by Portugal keeper Diogo Costa after being performed in by the rampaging Baku. Wolfsburg’s Baku – enjoying as an especially attacking right-back – then shot broad from distance earlier than Hertha Berlin midfielder Maier noticed his fierce hit from vary clawed out of the highest nook by Costa. Germany had been nearly undone in first-half stoppage-time when Vitinha broke clear however he could not get a shot away.
Germany began nicely within the second half and bought their reward simply 4 minutes in when Baku performed in Nmecha to attain. The striker, who spent the 2020/21 season on mortgage at Belgian facet Anderlecht from Manchester Metropolis, confirmed sharp footwork to shift the ball round Costa and prod it residence from shut vary. A gifted Portugal facet had been at all times going to have their moments, however Germany defended resolutely to make sure that the workload of Mainz keeper Finn Dahmen was minimal. And because the Portuguese took extra dangers the longer the sport went on, Germany bought alternatives on the counter. Substitute Karim Adeyemi bought in solely to be denied by Porto keeper Costa, whereas Nmecha’s highly effective try from exterior the realm was tipped excessive. Salzburg attacker Adeyemi was thwarted by Costa as soon as extra however one aim was all Germany wanted to win this competitors for the second time within the final three editions.
- Germany have appeared within the final three UEFA Euro U21 finals, profitable this yr and in 2017. Additionally they received the competitors in 2009, when a crew that includes future FIFA World Cup winners Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Benedikt Höwedes, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil hammered England 4-0 within the decider.
- Nmecha, who beforehand represented England at youth stage, scored 4 targets in six video games to complete as the highest scorer within the finals as Germany went unbeaten from the group stage till they had been confirmed as champions.
- Former Wolfsburg loanee Nmecha was used in its place in Germany’s 2-1 last defeat by Spain two years in the past on the 2019 version of this competitors.
- Baku, who was capped by the German senior crew in November 2020, made targets in each the semi-final and the ultimate.
- Former Germany striker Kuntz, who received UEFA Euro 1996 as a participant, was additionally head coach of the U21 crew once they beat Spain 1-0 within the 2017 last in Poland.
- Portugal, who had received their final 5 U21 matches towards Germany, have appeared in three finals at this stage however misplaced all of them.
Germany: Dahmen – Baku, Pieper, Schlotterbeck, Raum – Maier, Dorsch (Janelt 85’), Özcan (Stach 90+2) – Wirtz (Adeyemi 67’), Nmecha (Jakobs 85’), Berisha (Burkardt 67’)
Unused subs: Schubert, Vagnoman, Jaeckel, Appelkamp, Mai, Klimowicz, Grill
Coach: Stefan Kuntz
Portugal: Costa – Dalot, Queiros, Leite, Conte (Ramos 86′) – Vitinha (Jota 59′), Luis (Gedson Fernandes 83′), Vieira, Braganca – Tomas (Conceicao 59′), Mota (Leao HT)
Unused subs: Maximiano, Tavares, Pereira, Djalo, Baro, Soares, Virginia
Coach: Rui Jorge