Efficient Germany dispatch of Denmark in 3-1 victory


Germany faced Denmark with both sides looking to make a fast start to their Under-21 European campaign.

Germany began proceedings looking to repeat the same magic potion that has been spelled upon Denmark the last two times both sides met in this competition. On both occasions, the German’s triumphed 3-0.

As ever, Germany took no time to look their meticulous dominant selfs, keeping the ball with an assured nature. Denmark, who were hoping to continue the run of underdogs surprising the favourites so far in this European Championships, set-up in a compact shape and slowly settled into the match.

Wary of the threat that the other poses, both sides began the match in a tentative manner, sitting off when out of possession. However Denmark seemed the brighter, with German boss Stefan Kuntz angry at his side’s lethargic manner; ‘Die Mannschaft’ unusually appeared to still be in first gear.

Perhaps Germany were overconfident, after all they hadn’t lost to the Danes in any fixture since 2000. Nevertheless, at the beginning of a major tournament a manager should be expecting to curb his youngsters enthusiasm, rather than create it.

With both sides lacking any purpose in attack, Germany began to slowly move the ball, regaining control after an erratic opening. Denmark had their first glimpse of the goal when captain Mathias Jensen hit a snapshot just outside the box but the ball cannoned over the bar.

Two minutes later, Germany sprung into life and opened the scoring. Some precise combination play in and around the Danish box gave Marco Richter a chance to instinctively let fly and strike the ball past the despairing Denmark keeper Daniel Iversen, who was unsighted by desperate Denmark bodies in the box.

Richter grabs his and Germany’s first goal – Image: Germany Twitter

The first increase in tempo in Germany’s play resulted in the goal, once again re-affirming the innate ruthless streak every team of that nation has had within them. The lead seemed to have woken up the sleeping giant, lifting their levels through shorter, sharper passing.

The dejected Danes appeared short of ideas and their end product was frustratingly lacking. Despite the likes of Jacob Bruun Larsen and Marcus Ingvartsen getting into promising positions, their final ball was often rushed and panicked. The feature of Denmark’s play was epitomised by Celta Vigo star Mathias Jensen who saw all three of his shots in the opening half an hour blazed way over the bar and into the crowd behind the goal.

Iversen was called into action saving an accurate shot from Luca Waldschmidt, diving to his left to tip it round the post. Although the first half had little action in both boxes, the defending champions steadily started getting a stranglehold on the match, suffocating Denmark with their seemingly constant ball retention.

With Denmark in danger of getting eventually overrun and drowned by the Germans, they started the second half better with the catalyst for the change in momentum coming from striker, Robert Skov. He targeted the left flank  and whipped in a couple of inviting crosses across the box as well as some alarming set-pieces.

In the midst of Denmark building ahead of steam, they were struck a hammer blow when a quick counter doubled the Germans lead. Masters of their own downfall, a blocked free-kick found it’s way back to full-back Mads Pedersen, who attempted to re-start play by passing it back to his goal-keeper.

Image: Germany Twitter

However, Pedersen’s sloppy back-pass was intercepted by Richter leaving the forward bearing down on the Danish shot-stopper Iversen who decided to retreat to his line, having been caught in no-mans land. Richter drove inside off the left and finished off the move cooly, hitting the ball inside the front post.

Germany continued to cut through the red shirts with the trailing team visibly draining of any self-belief by every minute. A smart overlap by Benjamin Henrichs created a chance for him to get a shot off from a narrow angle but was smothered well by Iversen.

Just moments later Levin Oztunali hit a stinging shot from 25-yards out that was parried by Iversen, who was now becoming alarmingly out-worked. Fortunately for Denmark, Richter blazed over the loose ball to prevent him from getting his hat-trick.

In the 65th minute, Denmark shot themselves in the foot once again when their attacking corner somehow found it’s way into the back of their net within seconds. A poor set-piece routine was intercepted by the Germans who ruthlessly broke and sliced through the fatiguing Danish covering defenders. A smart switch of play released the ball to Luca Waldschmidt, who cutely dinked the ball over Iversen to extend their lead.

Robert Skov, Denmark’s brightest spark, had his free-kick blocked by the German wall with the deflection falling to the Danes inside the box, who attended to get a cross in. However, a Timo Baumgartl hand blocked the cross and Denmark were awarded a penalty.

Deserving of his performance, Skov put away his penalty to give Denmark a chance of an unlikely comeback.

In the dying embers, Iversen made a smart save down to his left to deny Oztunali Germany’s fourth.

Although the Reds huffed and puffed, you got the feeling that the two-time European Champions never felt tested. Possibly, the deeper the Germans go in the tournament, the more they will show the different strings to their bow.

The match petered out, giving Germany the three points and top spot in Group B. As you associate with Germany, the 3-1 win was efficient and clinical. They will now face Serbia in their second fixture whilst Denmark take on Austria.


Germany: Alexander Nubel; Benjamin Henrichs, Lukas Klostermann, Timo Baumgartl, Jonathan Tah (c); Arne Maier, Levin Oztunali, Maximillian Eggestein, Mahmoud Dahoud; Marco Richter, Luca Waldschmidt.

Denmark: Daniel Iversen; Rasmus Kristensen, Jacob Rasmussen, Victor Nelsson, Mads Pedersen; Phillip Billing, Magnus Kofod Andersen, Mathias Jensen (c); Jacob Bruun Larsen, Marcus Ingvartsen, Robert Skov.



About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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