Euro Championship

U21 European Championship: Lukas Nmecha shoots DFB Juniors against Portugal for the title

The DFB youngsters won the final of the U21 European Championship. In a fast-paced, tight final against Portugal, a goal from attacker Lukas Nmecha (49th minute) was enough to win 1-0 (0-0). It is the third European Championship title for a German U21 after the successes in 2009 and 2017 and the second title under coach Stefan Kuntz.

In the opening minutes, the German U21s had to be careful not to be caught off guard: Portugal started the game with a strong offensive urge, especially right-back Diogo Dalot, who played almost as a winger, and striker Dany Mota caused danger. After Mota had passed in, Tiago Tomás shot just wide of the goal (8th), while Amos Pieper blocked a shot from Dalot in dire need with a tackle (13th).

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Then the DFB-Elf gradually took control of the game and came up with opportunities. A deflected long-range shot by Florian Wirtz bounced off the lower edge of the crossbar back into the field (15th), a lob from Lukas Nmecha parried Diogo Costa with a strong reflex. Costa also fended off a tight long shot from Arne Maiers (29th), on the other side Vitinha hesitated too long in a counterattack in front of goalkeeper Finn Dahmen (45th + 2).

Baku’s strong eye ushers in victory

The German team started the second half much better than the first. The first chance after the break brought the lead: Niklas Dorsch shifted to the right wing, Ridle Baku dribbled 20 meters in front of the goal. From a playmaker’s position, the right-back played the pass for center forward Nmecha, who started down at the right moment, passed the ball past goalkeeper Costa and made it 1-0 (49th).

As a result, Portugal increased the pressure. However, the DFB youngsters managed to block most of the deals and only allow little risk of goals. In the end, Germany had the better chances: Substitute Karim Adeyemi alone missed several promising counter-opportunities (72nd / 81st). However, the relief attacks helped to bring the narrow lead over time.

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