Germany U21s took a big step towards qualifying for next year’s European Championship in Slovenia and Hungary with a 1-0 win at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Lukas Nmecha scoring the only goal of the game. Stefan Kuntz’s side moved to the top of their qualifying group after Belgium lost 1-0 in Moldova. The final group game is on 17th November (18:15 CEST) at home to Wales in Braunschweig.
Stefan Kuntz made three changes to the team that won 5-0 in Moldova last Friday. Ridle Baku replaced Felix Passlack at right back, while Amos Pieper and Yannik Keitel came in for Luca Kilian and Dennis Geiger.
Germany were on top of the visitors from the start and looked to find an opening goal. Ridle Baku had a cross well caught by goalkeeper Vladan Kovacevic in the second minute, before Nihad Mujakic cleared another dangerous Baku delivery three minutes later. Bosnia & Herzegovina grew into the game more and Ajdin Hasic tested out Lennart Grill with a long-range effort (11’). Salih Özcan headed over after 25 minutes, as Germany failed to create clear-cut chances despite enjoying more possession.
Lukas Nmecha, who bagged a brace in Moldova, was the man to open the scoring again for Kuntz’s side. Özcan’s cross was converted by Germany’s top goalscorer with a clever back-heel (29’) – his seventh goal for the U21s in total. Grill ensured the lead didn’t quickly disappear when he denied Ermedin Demirovic from close range (31’). Germany remained the better side before the break, with Handwerker (38’) and Florian Krüger (45’) both coming close.
Germany continued to search for a second goal in the second 45 minutes and had several notable chances. Özcan’s dangerous shot was blocked at the last minute (50’), while Kovacevic kept out a low drive by Jonathan Burkardt (52’), before Özcan’s header from a corner missed the target (53’).
Bosnia’s best chance of the night came in the 70th minute. Resic played in Demirovic and he fired a shot towards goal. Lennart Grill showed off his reflexes with a fine save to keep the Bosnian at bay. The Leverkusen keeper also kept out a goalbound free-kick from Gazibegovic with 15 minutes left on the clock. This would be the visitors’ final chance, while Kother almost added a second on the break but for a save by Kovacic (88’).