A good ten minutes after the final whistle in their game against Denmark, the Germany U21s are still on their lap of the Eden Stadium in Prague, thanking the fans for their support. There are smiles all round as the players occasionally stop to have a chat with some of the travelling faithful, friends and family. There was a sense of joy among the team, but also a sense of relief. It could have been a very tricky match, but Germany pulled out just the performance they were hoping for in their second U21 European Championship group game.
"It was a lot of fun out there today," said Amin Younes. "We played exactly the way we had set out to. A fast transition from defence to attack, great interplay and one-on-one dribbles – that's what our coach had asked of us." The Kaiserslautern attacker was having a great time against Denmark, as he created havoc down his left wing time and time again. Younes was very mobile and didn't restrict himself to just the wing. His assist for Germany's 3-0 through Matthias Ginter was created beautifully from the flank with the outside of his foot.
After the game, Younes was declared as "Man of the Match" by UEFA, despite not scoring a goal himself – another indication just how much the 21-year-old enjoyed himself out there. "I don't really care about that. We are a team and we win and lose together," Younes commented on his award.
Skipper Kevin Volland had fired Germany into the lead in the first half and doubled the lead with a beautifully taken free kick right after the restart. In 20 games for the U21 side, Volland has now scored an impressive eleven goals. The Hoffenheim striker is already looking ahead to Germany's final group game on Tuesday against tournament hosts Czech Republic: "We learned from our mistakes in the Serbia game and were able to link up quicker," said Volland. "It's all or nothing now against the Czech Republic. If we play like we did today, we are very tough to beat."
His coach agrees: "The 3-0 victory is highly deserved. The boys are just really good football players," explained Horst Hrubesch. "If they get going, they are difficult to stop. They have a lot of quality." This quality was on display for almost the entire 90 minutes against the Scandinavians. Denmark created just one chance in the match, but Poulsen was unable to convert after 15 minutes. "It was a lot of fun watching the team from the sidelines. Their enjoyment of the game and their aggression are things we will require against the Czech Republic as well," Hrubesch continued.
The hosts were also able to land a crucial win in their second match, dispatching Serbia with a 4-0 victory and claiming second spot in Group A. Tuesday's clash will feature the top two teams in the group. A draw would be enough for the DFB-Team to secure a spot in the semi-finals. "I'm not the type of coach that likes to play for a draw. I want to win games. Furthermore, I would also like us to win the group and thus stay in Prague," assured Hrubesch. The team certainly managed an impressive display, but according to Volland there is still more to come: "We can still get better."