Germany U21s got their first draw of their European Championships qualifying campaign. They were unable to pick up their sixth win in their seventh game of qualifying for the 2019 tournament in Italy and San Marino. Stefan Kuntz’s side drew 0-0 in Kosovo but remain top of Group 5 with 16 points to their name.
“Defensively, we were solid once again. We gave nothing away but, against a team who sit deep, you need precision and focus. If you can’t get through, then you have to accept the 0-0,” said Kuntz after the game. In parts, we played well. We stayed solid and created a variety of chances. In terms of results, we aren’t fully satisfied with how these two games in March have panned out as we wanted six points. To summarise, we’re happy with our defence but want to improve offensively. Now, we turn our attention to our important games versus Ireland and Norway.”
Kuntz made one change to the side that won 3-0 against Isreal last Thursday. Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah was replaced by Hertha BSC’s Jordan Torunarigha in the centre of defence for his international debut.
“It was an unbelievable feeling. It was great fun,” said Torunarigha. “I’d have been happier if we’d have got a better result, At the back, we pretty much had everything under control and hardly let anything past. We were just lacking that final ball.”
The side lacked first and foremost attacking creativity. The midfield of Levin Öztunali, Mahmoud Dahoud, Eduard Löwen and Nadiem Amiri were unable to bring strikers Cedric Teuchert and Maximilian Eggestein into the game. It was also a testament to the solidity of the Kosovo defence who had also worked incredibly hard in the reverse fixture and were only undone 1-0 in Osnabrück due to a solitary Maximilian Eggestein strike.
With that being said, there were still chances for Germany as Werder Bremen’s Eggestein and Schalke’s Teuchert came close with headers and Kosovo’s goalkeeper Visar Bekaj pulled off a great stop to prevent Mo Dahoud’s effort from hitting the back of the net.
Germany pressed more and more as the game went on, barely letting Kosovo out of their own half but couldn’t get through their last line of defence.
Towards the game’s conclusion, Germany were going all out for the win but the ball simply could not find its way into the net as a whole hosts of chances went begging.
Germany U21s will play their next game on September 7th but the opposition has not yet been confirmed. Then, Germany have to face Ireland twice (11th September, 16th October) as well as Norway (12th October).