Under-21 Championship: Alexander Nübel becomes a tragic hero in the final
Scene of the game: Alexander Nübel is perhaps the most talented player of the German U21 national team. The Schalke goalkeeper held Germany in the semi-final against Romania with a sensational parade in the game. Well, in the final against Spain, the 22-year-old made a bad mistake that sealed the defeat. Nübel could not catch a harmless shot from Fabián. Dani Olmo dusted to 2: 0 from. That scene was reminiscent of the goalkeeping error of Oliver Kahn in the 2002 World Cup final against Brazil when Ronaldo met. Just one size smaller.
Nübel cried after the final whistle. But U21 coach Stefan Kuntz gave him courage: "If he makes a career like Oli Kahn, then everything is fine."
The result: Germany lost 1: 2 (0: 1) against Spain. Click here for the game report.
Realization of the game: It is a bitter payday weekend for German football: After Saturday, the Swedes for the defeat at the Olympic Games in 2016 against Germany reciprocated, it did on Sunday, the Spaniards for the final defeat at the U21 European Championship 2017. Lost Germany has this European Championship final, because coach Kuntz's team were too timid for almost half their time, did not use their chances enough - and had a tragic hero with Nübel.
Recognition of the tournament: German football has not presented itself in a desolate state despite the final defeat, as it was feared by many observers for years after the preliminary round of the A-Eleven at the 2018 World Cup. 15 goals in five games, plus the second final participation in series, that was something to be proud of. The Kuntz-Elf has exceeded the expectations of this tournament.
Replenishment for Löw? A new "golden generation" like 2009, when the team around Mesut Özil and Manuel became European Under-21 champion and five years later world champion in Brazil, did not play in Italy. The new, hopeful year 1996 is already part of the A-Elf and is led by Leroy Sané, Timo Werner and Julian Brandt. They too could have played in this tournament. From the vice-European champion of 2019 will probably not see too many players at Löw: In addition to Lukas Klostermann and Jonathan Tah, who were already allowed to play under coach Joachim Loew, have Maximilian Eggestein and Nübel probably the best prospects.
First half: "#Herzzeigen" is the motto of the German U21 selection. But at the beginning of the game nothing was to be seen from the hearts of the German players. They had slipped in their pants. This awe Fabián used to the early 1-0 for Spain: He took the ball just behind the midline and was allowed to walk until the German penalty area. His low shot from 22 meters flew past Nübel into the goal (7th minute). The DFB-selection succeeded against no really dangerous shot in half one. Thomas Broich, the co-commentator at the ARD, spoke of lack of courage. U21 captain Tah did not think so after the game: "Who said that?" Tah asked. When he heard that it was the former Bundesliga player Broich, he said: "Not my opinion!"
Dark yellow: Germany also had bad luck in a referee's decision: Luca Waldschmidt, the seven-goal striker in this tournament, was once violently violated by Jesus Vallejo, for which the Spaniard could have been quite off the field. There was only yellow.
Pink Panther with the whistle: Away from the gameplay, during the first half of the match, the umpires of the referee made a career on Twitter. The glaring pink, which the Serbian referee Srdjan Jovanovic had decided on, provoked more or less good jokes on the internet.
Second half: By the end of the first half Kuntz's team had fought a bit into the game. At the beginning of the second, she took control. Nadiem Amiri and Waldschmidt had good opportunities (48th and 53rd). The Spaniards bet on counter - and one of them led to 2: 0. Fabián's shot, Nübel's mistake, Olmos Tor (69.). Carlos Soler even hit the bar (81 '). And Waldschmidt awarded the best German opportunity from five meters (83rd). His eighth tournament goal, which he would become the sole record scorer in the U21 European Championship history, was denied him. That's what Amiri met for. His shot was deflected by Vallejo still head (88.). But the connection hit came too late.
Record set: After 1986, 1998, 2011 and 2013 Spain celebrates its fifth U21 European Championship title and draws with the record holder Italy. For Germany, it remains at two European Championship titles (2009 and 2017).
Player of the tournament: Fabián, SSC Napoli midfielder, was named player of the tournament after the finals. A good choice.
A nuisance at the end: ARD commentator Steffen Simon is suspected anyway, not always necessarily at ball height. But this time he completely forgot what his role was. When it was still 0: 1, Simon spoke with co-commentator Broich about the German opportunities and then called at some point: "We still have not lost." But we should never give it to journalists for all sporting patriotism. Or, as the great Hanns Joachim Friedrich once said: "Keep aloofness, do not make common cause with one thing, not even with a good one!"
Germany - Spain 1: 2 (0: 1)
0: 1 Fabian (7)
0: 2 Dani Olmo (69.)
1: 2 Amiri (88.)
Germany: Nübel - Klostermann, Tah, Baumgartl, Henrichs - Serdar (61st Neuhaus), Maximilian Eggestein (79th Nmecha), Dahoud - Öztunali (72nd judge), Waldschmidt, Amiri - Coach: Kuntz
Spain: Sivera - Aguirregabiria, Nunez, Vallejo, Junior Firpo - Roca, Fabián (78th Merino) - Olmo, Ceballos, Fornals (72nd Mayoral) - Oyarzabal (55th Soler) - Coach: de la Fuente
Referee: Srdjan Jovanovic (Serbia)
Yellow cards: / - Vallejo, Nunez