The Germany U21s side now has their destiny in their own hands after defeating Serbia 6-1 in their second group stage match.
Stefan Kuntz’s team now only needs a draw from their final group game against Austria on Sunday (21:00 CEST) to qualify for the semi-finals. The best second-placed team from the three groups qualifies alongside the three group winners.
Marco Richter added his third goal of the tournament (16’), before Luca Waldschmidt scored twice (30’, 37’) to send Germany into the break 3-0 to the good. Mahmoud Dahoud (69’) added a fourth, before Waldschmidt completed his hat-trick (80’). Andrija Zivkovic scored a consolation from the spot in the 85th minute, but Arne Maier (92’) scored the final goal to seal a convincing win.
In front of 9,837 fans in Italy, Germany started well and kept possession early on. The first sign of danger came from Florian Neuhaus, who had replaced Arne Maier in the starting eleven. His shot from the edge of the box just missed the far post (10’). Marco Richter then did give Germany the lead six minutes later after a fine through ball from Levin Öztunali. The Augsburg man chipped it over keeper Boris Radunovic for his third goal of the tournament so far.
Germany remained on top after taking the lead: Radunovic then made a smart save from Richter in the 22nd minute. Serbia’s star striker Luka Jovic struggled to impact the game, being dealt with by captain Jonathan Tah and Lukas Klostermann in particular.
Kuntz’s team continued to press for a second goal and found it after some intense pressing. Neuhaus won possession back, played in Richter and he squared it for Waldschmidt, who easily found the open net. His goal was the 750th goal scored by the Germany U21s.
The Serbian team seemed to be shocked and Mahmoud Dahoud’s backheel almost made it 3-0 in the 35th minute. Waldschmidt then did grab the third after a stunning solo run and finish into the far corner with his left.
Richter (39’) and Henrichs (41’) almost added further goals before the half-time whistle, and Radunovic then tipped a Öztunali shot onto the crossbar to keep it at 3-0 at the break.
Nadiem Amiri replaced Öztunali for the start of the second half and had the first opportunity, although the Serbian keeper somehow tipped his effort over the crossbar from close range (52’). Just a minute later, Alexander Nübel was called into action and brilliantly parried Luka Jovic’s low drive (53’).Germany continued to control the flow of the game – Amiri could have added a fourth but for a strong save from Radunovic (63’). Soon after, Mo Dahoud’s precise shot from distance beat the shotstopper (67’) to give the U21s a four goal lead. Lukas Nmecha made his Euro Championship debut in the 74th minute, just before Waldschmidt hammered home his hat-trick, and his fourth goal of the tournament. Serbia scored a penalty late on, but Maier’s curling effort ensured that Germany had the final laugh.