The Germany U21 national team picked up their third win in the fourth game of their European Championship qualification campaign. Stefan Kuntz’s team overcame Moldova at the Brita-Arena in Wiesbaden thanks to goals from Mergim Berisha (9’), Lukas Nmecha (62’), Nico Schlotterbeck (74’) and Florian Krüger (79’) to overtake Belgium and occupy first place in Group 9.
Stefan Kuntz did concede that the performance wasn’t perfect. “We started the game really well, but due to lack of match practice a few things didn’t work out. You can’t blame the players for that.” Nevertheless, the head coach was satisfied with the first outing after the restart. “The team won, and you have to congratulate them. We discussed a few things at half time. Overall, I’m very pleased.”
From the very first minute, the momentum was always on Germany’s side but the team’s attacks lacked precision and the finishing touch. However, in the ninth minute, Dennis Geiger found debutant Ismail Jakobs on the left, who centred for Berisha to slot home.
It was Berisha who came closest to doubling the lead ten minutes later, but was denied by Moldova goalkeeper Victor Straistari from a narrow angle. After the resulting corner, Straistari was beaten by Salih Özcan but the goalkeeper and Moldova were saved by the post. Nmecha was also denied by the goalkeeper after a good individual effort. Towards the end of the half, the German dominance faded and the guests got their first chance, Victor Stina narrowly missing the target in the 38th minute.
Germany started the second half with more tempo and had a double chance just four minutes in, but Nmecha and Özcan were denied by the goalkeeper again. On the hour mark however, debutant Amos Pieper was fouled as he tried to connect with Robin Hack’s free kick, and referee Nejc Kajtazovic pointed to the spot. Nmecha converted the penalty to put Germany two goals ahead.
Substitute Jonathan Burkhardt came close to the third in the 73rd minute but was denied by the goalkeeper once again. Shortly after, Ridle Baku’s cross was however headed in by Schlotterbeck to increase the lead once again.
Germany did not let their foot off the gas and substitutes Josha Vagnoaman and Krüger combined for the fourth goal of the evening. Artiom Carastoian pulled a consolation goal back for Moldova which took the gloss off the victory, before Krüger went close again at the other end of the field.