The U20 national side played out a 1-1 draw in a highly competetive fixture against the Netherlands. Florian Baak gave the hosts the lead in Meppen after a well-rehearsed corner routine ended with the ball in the back of the net (21’). However, not two minutes later, Kaj Sierhuis (23’) equalised for the visitors. In the closing phases of the game, Salih Özcan had a penalty saved by keeper Jan Hoekstra (87’) after Baak was brought down in the box.
In front of 2540 fans in the Hänsch Arena, Meikel Schönweitz side had clear advantages on the pitch, with two strong shots from Özcan, which tested gaolkeeper Hoekstra right from the off. In the 21st minute, the ball landed at the feet of Manuel Wintzheimer at the near post after a short corner from Germany. The Hamburg player did a clever turn to lose his opponend Sierhuis and weaved into the six-yard-box. Centre-back Baak let his foot linger and steered the ball into the back of the net for a deserved lead.
In the jubilation after the goal, the Netherlands managed to find a quick equaliser. Noa Lang got the ball on the right side after a great pass and pushed on to the baseline. There, Tom Baack was a step too late in trying to catch Sierhuis and the Dutchman, who was arguably at fault for the Netherlands' lack of clean-sheet, slotted home in a one-on-one from two yards (23’).
Both teams then showed great determination in the game, causing a lot of tough duels in midfield. In the final phases, Germany accented their play with some flashes style amd pushed forward once again in search of a winning goal. Özcan and Alfons Amade missed a double chance (81’) and Meritan Shabani also tried but couldn’t get the ball over the line (84’).
After pressure from Schönweitz’s team, Baack was eventually brought down in the box, giving the hosts a penalty in the 89th minute. Özcan took on the responsibilty and aimed for the right corner. The opposition goalkeeper Hoekstra sensed this, allowing him to parry the shot, therefore giving the Netherlands a draw.
The U20 side face Switzerland this coming Tuesday (16:00 CEST).