The Germany U21 national team defeated Wales 2-1 to win their qualification group and book their place in the European Championship, which will take place in March next year. Lukas Nmecha opened the scoring in the 17th minute from the penalty spot, before Jonathan Burkardt doubled the lead (26’).
“I’m pleased that we’ve done it. Now we have four months ahead of us, in which a lot can happen,” said U21 head coach Stefan Kuntz after his team achieved qualification.
The first significant chance fell to Nmecha, who narrowly missed the target from 16 metres.
Germany won possession in midfield on numerous occasions but the final pass was lacking. However, after some good work from David Raum, Ridle Baku was fouled in the area and Nmecha converted from the penalty spot. Just two minutes later, Baku was brought down in the Wales penalty area once again, but Nmecha fired his second spot-kick wide (21’).
However, the second goal didn’t take long to arrive. Centre back Lukas Mai started the attack and Burkardt finished the move with a nice effort into the far corner. Nmecha almost made up for the missed penalty but his long shot missed the target by centimetres.
Stefan Kuntz’s side were in control and created attack after attack, but conceded completely against the run of play. Mark Harris managed to get one-on-one with Finn Dahmen and remained calm to reduce the deficit for his side (34’). However, the Wales goal did nothing to affect the German dominance. Captain Arne Maier and Nmecha linked up well and Maier crossed from the byline, but the ball was cleared at the last minute (39’).
The second half began with Germany continuing to create good attacks, yet unable to find the final pass to create a shotting chance. The tempo dropped and the Welsh side looked more and more to quick counter attacks. The first significant effort came in the 70th minute, as Salih Özcan forced Wales keeper George Radcliffe into a save from long distance.
At the other end of the pitch, the German defence stood strong and the rare Welsh attack was broken down in midfield. In the 78th minute, Wales’ Regan Poole had the chance to equalise from a corner but missed the target from close range. A minute later, substitute Manuel Wintzheimer struck the post for Germany. With the game coming to an end, Nmecha dribbled into the penalty area but was denied at the last moment (88’).