The Germany U21s won their penultimate international match of the year against the Netherlands in a confident display. Stefan Kuntz’s team beat their neighbours 3-0 in front of a crowd of 4,813 in the Sparda-Bank-Hessen-Stadion in Offenbach. Philipp Ochs put Germany ahead from the spot after 15 minutes, but it was after the break that the team took real control of the game and extended their lead with goals from Abdelhamid Sabiri and Törles Knöll.
“I’m definitely pleased but not elated,” said Kuntz after the game. “By changing it up at half-time, we started the second 45 minutes as the better team. We created a lot of chances to score and overall, there were a lot of good positives to take from the match.” Debutant and goalscorer Törles Knöll was over-the-moon: “It was always a dream of mine since I was a child to play for Germany. I can only thank the coach that he put his faith in me.”
In comparison to recent European Championship qualifiers, coach Stefan Kuntz changed formation and played three at the back. At the beginning of the match it was noticeable that the formation was still somewhat unfamiliar to the side. In the seventh minute, the ball was in the back of the German net but the goal was disallowed, as Dutchman Donyell Malen was in an offside position.
Eventually, Germany eased into the game and took control, winning a penalty after 14 minutes. Dani de Wit blocked a shot from Suat Serdar with his hand in the penalty box, meaning Philipp Ochs was able to step up and put the ball away in the bottom-right corner to make it 1-0.
From then on, the Germany U21s kept the pressure on. Maximilian Mittelstädt found Janni Serra with a delightful ball to put him through on goal, but the shot from the Kiel player was blocked. Serra then went close again in the 29th minute, after good work from Benjamin Henrichs, but his shot was just wide. There was little other action in front of goal before the break.
After the break, the German team were definitely the stronger of the two teams. Chances came thick and fast for the Germany side, until the pressure eventually paid off in the 58th minute, when Abdelhamid Sabiri poked in the rebound from Robin Koch’s header to make it 2-0. Törless Knöll then came on in the 59th minute, making his U21s debut, and it took only a short time for the Nürnberg man to find his feet. Maxi Eggestein’s shot was parried into Knöll’s path, and the debutant couldn’t miss.
On Monday, the U21s will face the Italy U21s in their final game of the year.