Germany U21s fell to a first defeat of their EURO 2021 qualification campaign against Belgium, having previously beaten Wales 5-1 and Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0. The game against Belgium finished 3-2, with Germany’s goals coming from Nico Schlotterbeck (38’) and an own goal by Zinho Vanheusden (81’).
The first chance of the game fell to captain Johannes Eggestein after two minutes as Germany got off to a lively start. However, Belgium also looked dangerous and Lois Openda hit the side netting at the end of their immediate counterattack.
The game continued at a fast pace and Germany continued to push forward with purpose. After just under a quarter of an hour, Ridle Baku and Lukas Nmecha combined to set up Eggestein, but the Bremen forward failed to convert.
The Belgium side were quick on the counter and it paid off in the 26th minute as they scored the opening goal. Vanheusden provided a clinical finish through the legs of Markus Schubert in goal.
Belgium almost doubled their lead soon after. However, Vanheusden missed the penalty given away by Schlotterbeck for a foul in the area.
Germany - and especially Nico Schlotterbeck - seemed completely unphased by going behind and it was the SC Freiburg man who provided a much-needed equaliser for the Germans in the 38th minute. Dennis Geiger sent a free kick in to the mixer and it was Schlotterbeck who reacted quickest to poke home a good goal.
Just when it looked like the teams were going to go in at the break at one a piece, the visitors struck again - this time it was Openda who evaded the German defence and struck in to the left hand corner to leave the home side with a sour taste in their mouths at half time.
Coach Kuntz made two changes in the second half: Orestis Kiomourtzoglou and Mergim Berisha came on for Adrian Fein and Johannes Eggestein. Germany were immediately pushing for a goal and they had the first chance of the second half through Wolfsburg striker Lukas Nmecha. Janni Serra of Kiel was then unlucky not to connect with a cross.
Whilst the Germans were piling on the pressure, the Belgians stuck to their game plan looked dangerous on the break. The young "Red Devils" increased their lead in the 70th minute to 3-1. Once again it was Openda who raced past Vitaly Janelt and scored his second goal of the day.
Germany threw everything at their opponents in the final quarter hour. After being substituted on 79 minutes into the game, Ache made it 3-2 with his first real contribution to the game - his rebound hit the leg of Belgian Vanheusden, but the ball still ended up in the goal. The Germans did not have enough time, however, to earn themselves a point.
The next task in their EURO 2020 qualification for the U21s will be in the new year. At the end of March 2020, the team will play at home against Wales.