The Germany U17s national team have started their European Championship in Ireland with a defeat. Michael Feichtenbeiner’s team went down 3-1 to Italy in the Group D opener, after TSG Hoffenheim’s Maximilian Beier had opened the scoring for Die Mannschaft in the 15th minute.
1,320 fans watched on at the Tallaght Stadium in Dublin, as the DFB side got off to a bright start in the match, Kerim Calhanoglu firing an inch wide after just seven minutes. Calhanoglu’s Hoffenheim teammate Beier had the next chance just minutes later, but he too narrowly missed the target with his header.
But the old adage 'third-time lucky' rang true on the quarter hour mark when the Hoffenheim pair combined to put Germany in front – Beier meeting Calhanoglu’s cross and slotting the ball over the line.
The goal prompted a response from the Italians, who created several chances of their own, before they finally equalised in fortunate circumstance (27’). Full back Jannis Lang’s clearance took a cruel deflection and flew over Schreiber into the back of the net.
Bremen’s Nick Woltemade almost hit back with the perfect response at the other end, but was blocked at the last moment by goalkeeper Marco Molla.
In the second half, chances fell at both ends and it eventually took a moment of individual quality to break the deadlock when Esposito firing an exceptional free kick into the top right corner from 20 yards with just ten minutes to go. Germany’s pursuit for a late equaliser proved futile and Italy added a final third through Samuel Giovane deep in injury time.