UEFA U-21 Euros: Spain victorious in a glorious revenge on Germany


Spain exacted revenge upon the nation that beat them two years ago, defeating Germany 2-1 to be crowned the under-21 European champions.

In a frantic opening five minutes that saw Spain restricting German chances, they saw their dominance work some success as Fabian Ruiz’s seventh-minute goal broke the deadlock.

The first 15 minutes of the first half were dominated by Spain’s constant pressure on Germany and not allowing them to get out of their own half.

Germany were forced to wait until the 23rd minute before being handed their first clear-cut opportunity. After great build-up play, a lofted ball landed in front of Levin Oztunali who fired his shot goalbound – it was comfortably claimed by goalkeepeer Antonio Sivera.

In the 31st minute, a dangerous free-kick from Fabian Ruiz saw his free-kick narrowly go over the bar.

With the remainder of the first half, Germany looked to regain a bit of stability and had plenty of shots at the Spanish goal, but most of these shots were off target with the closest effort being a Suar Serder header which travelled narrowly over the crossbar.

In an eventful first half, Ruiz’s early strike was all that separated the two sides at the interval.

Germany kicked off the second-half as they looked to try and score that decisive equaliser that would flip the tie on its head.

After the restart, the Germans came close as a Nadiem Amiri shot troubled Sivera, but Jesus Vallejo cleared the ball before Luca Waldschmidt pounced on the rebound.

Waldschmidt found some space around the edge of the box, but fired his shot at Sivera. Germany started to fire more shots at the Spain goal with Amiri’s shot being the closest up to the 65th minute.

Spain doubled their lead in the 69th minute. Ruiz had a long range shot saved, but Alexander Nubel spilled the ball and Dani Olmo pounced an dinked the ball over the German goalkeeper.

Germany were certainly not lacking effort as they sought after a leveller, but Waldschmidt wasted yet another chance as he shot directly at Sivera.

Spain went up the other end and, after lovely passing play, Fabian Ruiz’s shot agonisingly wide.

In the 81st minute, Spain had the chance to make it 3-0 and put the result beyond doubt; however, Carlos Soler’s struck the crossbar and rebounded away.

Waldschmidt had a chance to pull one back for Germany as Lukas Nmecha passed it back to Waldschmidt with his shot going just wide of the goal.

Amiri made it 2-1 with a fantastic shot that looped over Sivera but it proved nothing more than a consolation goal as strikes from Ruiz and Olmo secured victory for Spain.

Team Line-ups

Spain U-21: Antonio Sivera; Martín Aguirregabiria, Unai Núnez, Jesús Vallejo (c), Héctor Júnior Firpo Adamés; Fabián Ruiz Peña (Mikel Merino 78′), Marc Roca; Dani Olmo, Daniel Ceballos, Pablo Fornals (Borja Mayoral 72′); Mikel Oyarzabal (Carlos Soler 55′).

Germany U-21: Alexander Nübel; Lukas Klostermann, Jonathan Tah (c), Timo Baumgartl, Benjamin Henrichs; Suat Serdar (Florian Neuhaus 61′), Maximilian Eggestein (Lukas Nmecha 79′), Mahmoud Dahoud; Levin Öztunali (Marco Richter 73′), Luca Waldschmidt, Nadiem Amiri.


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