Germany U21s fulfilled two season objectives following the 1-1 draw with Austria on Sunday night. Not only have they booked their spot in the semi-finals of the UEFA European U21 Championship, they have also secured qualification to next summer’s Olympic games in Tokyo. Luca Waldschmidt opened the scoring with a thunderbolt strike from distance (14’), before Kevin Danso levelled from the spot (24’).
Stefan Kuntz named an unchanged side from the team that thrashed Serbia 6-1 on Thursday and it didn’t take long for hat-trick hero Luca Waldschmidt to pick up where he left off. After weathering the early Austrian storm, the Freiburg forward picked the ball up midway inside the Austrian half and thumped a left-footed strike into the top corner from 30 yards out to take his tournament tally to five (14’).
Austria responded positively and were rewarded a penalty ten minutes later when Alexander Nübel accidentally caught Sasa Kalajdzic with a high challenge. FC Augsburg defender Kevin Danso converted the spot kick and keep his country’s hopes of qualifying alive.
With the scores tied at 1-1, it was the Austrians who looked the likelier to score the next goal and Germany could count themselves fortunate to be level at the break. First Alex Nübel pulled off a superb point-blank save to keep out Kalajdzic, before the Austrian forward was then denied once more by the post.
Germany sought to regain control of the game by holding on to possession in the second half, but it was Austria who had the first real chance. After dispossessing Christoph Baumgartner, Husein Balic broke through for a 1v1, but the out-charging Nübel held strong once more.
Unable to show the same attacking dominance of the two previous games, the Germany youngsters were restricted to just a few chances as the game edged towards full time, Amiri unable to get the ball out of his feet and Öztunali blocked at the last moment. Amiri then fired a free kick into the side netting, while Mo Dahoud was denied from close range in the dying seconds of injury time.