The German U21 national team also missed a win in their dress rehearsal for the European Championship. In the last official game before the mission to defend the title, DFB coach Antonio Di Salvo’s team couldn’t get more than 0-0 in Romania. The European champions travel to Georgia in June with just one win in their last five games.
Without numerous regular players, the DFB team showed a significantly improved performance in front of 12,000 spectators in Sibiu, at least defensively. Di Salvo’s team had previously conceded at least two goals three times in a row. In the forward movement, however, the German team made too little of their superiority.
Di Salvo had prepared his team for a “hot match” before kick-off. In the sold-out arena of first division club FC Hermannstadt, the DFB team faced loud fans and tough opponents. But the German team held back from the start: Jessic Ngankam from Hertha BSC (11th), who had scored four days earlier in the 2-2 draw against Japan, missed the first good chance after a strong counterattack.
The game remained fast-paced and intense, and the referee issued three yellow cards in the first quarter of an hour. It was only when the DFB team took control as the game went on that there was some calm in the encounter. However, the Romanians had the best chance of the first half: goalkeeper Noah Atubolu (SC Freiburg) defused a header from Stefan Baiaram (33′).
DFB team makes too little of its opportunities
Even after the break, the German team had more possession, but acted too slowly and didn’t make enough of the few opportunities. Angelo Stiller from TSG Hoffenheim headed into the arms of the Romanian goalkeeper (55′). Careless mistakes in the game structure also caused unnecessary danger again and again. In the closing stages, both Henning Matriciani (Schalke 04) and Kenneth Schmidt (SC Freiburg) made their U21 debuts.
At the European Championships in Georgia and Romania, the German U21s will face England, the Czech Republic and Israel in the preliminary round. The tournament is also about the three European tickets for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.