The Germany U19s enjoyed the perfect start to 2019 with a dramatic victory in their European Championship second qualifying round opener against Croatia. Guido Streichsbier’s men ran out 2-1 winners against the hosts, while Norway and Hungary shared a goalless draw in the group’s other match.
After a series of missed chances and close calls at both ends, it was captain Jan-Fiete Arp who broke the deadlock with a delightful chip in the 41st minute. Jakov Blagaic bagged an unlikely equaliser midway through the second half for the hosts, but the Germany youngsters were rewarded for a determined performance when Jonathan Burkardt fired a 90th minute winner into the top corner.
Next up the U19s face Norway on Saturday (11:00 CET), before the final group match against Hungary on Tuesday (14:00 CET). Only the group winners will qualify for the EURO finals in Armenia.
Meanwhile, the U17s began their European Championship qualifying second round campaign with a 1-1 draw against Belarus. Michael Feichtenbeiner’s team took the lead in the first game of the mini tournament, but were unable to make their dominance count. Karim Adeyemi took the lead for Germany after just eight minutes, but saw his goal cancelled out by Ruslan Lisakovich in the second half.
“I’m very disappointed with the result," head coach Feichtenbeiner said at full time. “Obviously we have planned to win the game, but we passed up too many chances when we should have been 3-0 or 4-0 ahead by the break."
The result leaves the U17s with work to do in the remaining two qualifiers against Iceland on Saturday (12:00 CET) and Slovenia on Tuesday (12:00 CET). The finals take place in Ireland later this year (3rd-19th May 2019).
Germany lost 1-0 in the first of a double header against the U18s of World Cup winners France. "Chance conversion made the difference today," assessed head coach Frank Framer at full time. The next match against “Les Bleuets” is on Saturday (15:00).