U21: Inferior to a generation "like caviar" - sport
- The German U21 can not defend its title and loses in the final of the European Championship with 1: 2 against Spain.
- For the first time in the tournament, the German team was inferior - at the beginning she came sometimes for minutes not to the ball.
- If it was dangerous before the goal of the Spaniard, then Nadiem Amiri was usually involved, but in the end it was not enough for the equalizer.
Alexander Nübel has kept a lot of balls in the past few days, headballs from close range, difficult shots. And that of the Spaniard Fabian Ruiz on Sunday evening actually looked harmless, flat and from a distance. But Nübel let the ball bounce forward, Dani Olmo chipped him in the margin over the goalkeeper of the German U21 national team away. It was the scene that decided the final of the U21 European Championship. Germany lost to Spain with 1: 2 (0: 1).
For two weeks, the U21 had advertised for German football, about whose future since the preliminary round-out of the A-Eleven at the 2018 World Cup had been often spoken with at best cautious optimism. The summer of 2019 at the DFB is also that of the reforms to respond to deficits in youth work. But the U21 have "refuted" reservations, it said Vice President Reinhard Rauball after the semi-final victory against Romania. Even Jürgen Klopp, coach of Liverpool FC, had sent a video message, judging from his complexion obviously from the summer vacation: "You are the perfect mix of heart, a sensational attitude, a fantastic team spirit and huge potential."
In the final, however, now waited the first undisputed high-profile opponents, the same as two years ago, when Germany had won the title in Krakow 1-0. National coach Joachim Loew watched for the first time. For the first time the stadium was sold out. And for the first time the German team was inferior.
Coach Stefan Kuntz had previously stated that he saw the Spaniards "a bit more in the role of favorites", had praised technology and passport quality of the opponent and talked about many players with higher market value. It is estimated that the defender Timo Baumgartl of the Bundesliga relegated VfB Stuttgart is under ten million euros, that of midfielder Ruiz from SSC Naples at around 50 million. It was the eighth minute when Baumgartl left his position to follow opponent Mikel Oyarzabal well into midfield. That gave a lot of room for Ruiz, who got the ball in the barrel and shot from a distance. Spain led after the first chance already 1-0.
"Maybe we let ourselves be a little bit unsettled in the first few minutes," said captain Jonathan Tah after the game on the ARD. A generation "like caviar", the newspaper said AS already after the finals title, when Spain beat France 4-1. Spain has now won a U21 European Championship five times, as often as previous record winner Italy, three times this decade alone. Kuntz wanted to respond with his lineup on the strengths of the opponent, he also changed the alignment in the midfield. For the rather filigree, offensive Florian Neuhaus he set the rather rough, defensive Suat Serdar on, for the first time from the beginning.
At the beginning of the day, Germany did not come to the ball sometimes for several minutes
Spain started dominating the ball, as one would expect from Spanish teams. At the beginning of the match, Germany did not start the game for several minutes. It was not until twenty minutes before the German team seemed to play more courageously. After 24 minutes, Spain's Junior Firpo had to beat the ball unspecifically out of its own penalty area. And after just over half an hour, Spain was lucky that the former Frankfurt player Jesus Vallejo saw only the yellow and not the red card after a kick against Luca Waldschmidt's shin.
If it was dangerous before the Spaniard's goal, then Nadiem Amiri was the most involved, the attacker of TSG Hoffenheim, who scored two out of four goals in the semi-final against Romania. After 47 minutes, he shot out of the box and goalkeeper Antonio Sivera let the ball bounce forward and Vallejo had to clear the corner. After 63 minutes, he tried again from a distance, the ball flew over the gate, and Aufbruchsstimmung did not really come on.
After 88 minutes he shot from a distance, the deflected ball flew over Sivera into the goal. But it was already too late. Because after 69 minutes Olmo had scored with his chip over Nübel the 2: 0.
The player of the tournament from the German point of view is Luca Waldschmidt, he scored seven goals and was at the same time a kind of playmaker, also against Spain. But this time it was not quite as easy as against Denmark, Serbia or Austria, to make room for his actions. His most striking action on Sunday was a shot from less than five meters. He missed. Nevertheless: "We can go out of the tournament with a big chest," emphasized Kuntz. The crew never gave up. "As a coach, you can be really proud."