Germany U21s are in the semifinals of the European U21 Championship! In a dramatic match on Monday night, coach Stefan Kuntz’s team defeated Denmark U21s 6-5 on penalties. As Germany’s youngsters progressed to the last four of the competition, the dream of winning a third European U21 Championship lives on. DFB.de gathered the reaction on the victory.
Stefan Kuntz: That was probably the best first half we’ve had with this year’s team, but we couldn’t quite manage to find the breakthrough. Then some doubts crept into our game, and we started to overthink things. As the game progressed, we naturally began to get tired but we never gave up. When we brought on a centre-back, I can imagine the commentators probably went crazy at the microphone. Before the penalty shootout, I congratulated the boys and said to them, “No matter what happens now, everyone in Germany is proud of you.” The way in which Finn kept out the first penalty and then went on to save the decisive kick later on in the shootout shows how strong he is. We’ll have to focus on rest and recovery for a bit now, but we’re not going home today.
Oliver Bierhoff: What a nerve-wracking game we saw tonight from our U21s. Congratulations to Stefan Kuntz and the entire team on reaching the semi-finals. The team never gave up and overcame the challenge to earn the victory.
Finn Dahmen: That was the first match I’ve played in which I was on the field for 120 minutes. We’ve achieved something great. All of the boys were there for each other. If you make a mistake, someone else will be there to cover for you. Today it was my turn to do that. We’re going through to the next round with a lot of confidence in ourselves. We’ll get a few players back, regenerate, and make sure we’re ready for the semifinals.
Nico Schlotterbeck: There’s always a lot of luck involved in a penalty shootout, but we’re delighted with the win. My family and friends were all there. If none of them are going on holiday, I’m sure they’ll all be there on Sunday as well. My brother was the loudest in the stands. I could hear him shouting ‘Go Germany!’ no matter where I was on the pitch.