UEFA U-21 Euros: Second round recap


The second round of matches concluded with France facing Croatia. The second round of fixtures also included: England taking on Romania, Spain locking horns with Belgium, the hosts Italy battle against Poland, Denmark attempted to dislodge Austria and Germany encountered Serbia.

Spain U-21 v Belgium U-21

Spain faced Belgium as both teams lost their opening games to Italy and Poland respectively. Both sides wanted to win the game as they looked to resurrect their European campaign with a win in this vital fixture.

It was Spain who took the lead early in this match. Forward Dani Olmo opened the scoring for Spain in the sixth minute of the game. 20 minutes later, Belgium equalised the match at 1-1. Sebastiaan Bornauw scored for Belgium to put them back into contention of getting or draw or even beating the talented Spanish U-21 side.

Those Belgian dreams were crushed in the 89th minute by substitute Pablo Fornals. Fornals’ shot beat Ortwin De Wolf and went into the back of the net which ended Belgium’s dream of advancing in the competition and knocked the team out of the tournament, where as for Spain they were still in a chance to advance after this win against Belgium as they moved level on points with Italy.

Credit: Belgium Football Twitter

Italy U-21 v Poland U-21

The hosts of this tournament Italy had a tough task ahead as they faced Poland who were level on points with Italy and a win by either side will have seen them one step away from qualifying for the semi-finals of the tournament.

The first 30 minutes were dominated by Italy’s attacks with efforts from Federico Chiesa, Nicolo Barella and Rolando Mandragora all going narrowly wide of the goal or were saved by an unbeatable Kamil Grabara. Poland’s patience worked in the 40th minute in their favour. David Kownacki’s free-kick was blocked, but fell to Krystian Bielik who fired his shot low into the bottom corner Italy’s goalkeeper Alex Meret got a hand to the shot, however the ball still ended up in the back of the net.

The game finished 1-0 to Poland who were clear leaders of Group A after the two matches they played. Italy stayed in second place after the loss against Poland on three points joint with Spain with both teams still looking to go through to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Credit: Italy Twitter

Denmark U-21 v Austria U-21

The third fixture of this round saw Denmark take on Austria. Austria were on three points after a great victory over Serbia, where as Denmark lost 3-1 against Germany seeing them joint bottom with Serbia at the bottom of Group B.

The first 30 minutes had mixed spells of Austrian and Danish dominance with both teams having great chances to be in the lead and had equal possession up until that point. It was Denmark who broke the deadlock, courtesy of a Joackim Maehle goal in the 33rd minute, subsequently giving Denmark the lead going into half-time.

A strong start from Austria saw Philipp Lienhart equalise early in the second-half. Denmark showed their class and dominance in the last 20 minutes of the game with Maehle scoring to make it 2-1 and substitute Andreas Skov Olsen grabbing the third in a 3-1 win for Denmark.

Credit: Denmark Twitter

Germany U-21 v Serbia U-21

Top of Group B, Germany, took on a weak, but underrated Serbia side that were at the bottom of the group. Germany looked to continue their run of form in this competition with another group stage win after their 3-1 victory over Denmark. Serbia looked to bounce back after a 2-0 loss against Austria and tried to make an impact against Germany.

A quick start from Germany saw them open the scoring in the 16th minute. The current top goalscorer of the competition, Marco Richter, scored a trademark goal that put him on three goals in the competition. Germany made it 2-0 and 3-0 in quick succession after a brace from Luca Waldschmidt set the score at 3-0 going into half-time.

Mahmoud Dahoud made it 4-0 in the 69th minute with Waldschmidt completing his hat-trick in the 80th minute. Andrija Zivkovic scored a consolation goal for Serbia from a penalty and in the 90+2 minute Arne Maier set the score at a colossal 6-1 for Germany.

Credit: Germany Twitter

England U-21 v Romania U-21

Tournament favourites, England, desperately needed a win against Romania after losing to France 2-1 in emphatic fashion after an Aaron Wan-Bissaka own-goal. Romania beat Croatia 4-1 and looked likely to dispatch England in this tough match.

After a very slow start from both teams it wasn’t until the second-half where we saw all the goals fly in one after another. Romania opened the scoring after Jonjoe Kenny gave away a clumsy penalty which George Puscas converted brilliantly. Three minutes later, Demarai Gray equalised for England after his curling effort from the edge of the area flew into the top corner.

Ianis Hagi made it 2-1 for Romania after a silly mistake from Fikayo Tomori saw Hagi take the chance and score the goal. Tammy Abraham made it 2-2, the substitute’s weak shot made its way into the bottom corner of the Romania goal. A brace from Florinel Coman sealed the win for Romania and sent England home after only two games.

Credit: England Twitter

France U-21 v Croatia U-21

In the last fixture of the round, France took on Croatia in a game that would define who would be one step away from qualifying for the semi-finals of the tournament. France beat England 2-1 and Croatia lost 3-1 to Romania meaning a win for France may see them come as the best second placed team to qualify for the semi-finals.

A quick start from the French team saw them take the lead in the eighth minute through Moussa Dembele which saw France go 1-0 up. The rest of the game saw each team have spells of possession and Dembele having a very good chance of making it 2-0 for France, but ultimately the game finished 1-0 for France with them staying in second place in Group C, where as Croatia stayed bottom on zero points alongside England.

Credit: HNS Twitter.














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