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J. Mbom (19)
A. Benedyczak (5), A. Benedyczak (12), M. Skóraś (15), K. Kozłowski (90)

Poland humble German U21s with 4-0 defeat in Aspach

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

On an extremely foggy night in the tiny BaWü town of Aspach, the German U21s suffered their first defeat under new head-coach Antonio Di Salvo.

Visiting Poland rushed out to an early lead en-route to a 4-0 blanking of the country's top youth program. 
Antonio Di Salvo.
Antonio Di Salvo.Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
The Germany U21s hosted Poland's youth program Friday evening at the home arena of fourth-tier German footballing side SG Sonnenhof Großaspach on Friday evening. Amid the backdrop of an ominously foggy night, an early set of disasters saw Antonio Di Salvo's lads fall behind 0-3 by the 14th minute. They were then reduced to ten-men in the 19th.

Di Salvo deployed what could be construed as a very strong lineup. Germany U21 captain Jonathan Burkardt anchored a 4-2-3-1 behind lead striker Erik Shuranov of 1. FC Nürnberg. Kevin Schade of SC Freiburg and Jan Thielmann of 1. FC Köln flanked Burkardt on the wings. Angelo Stiller of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Yannick Keitel of Freiburg served as the double-sixes.

The returning Lars Lukas Mai partnered with Schalke's Malick Thiaw in central defense. Gladbach's successful young prodigy Luca Netz and Werder Bremen's Jean-Manuel Mbom worked as the fullbacks. Such a basic constellation had worked well in the past, but tonight would simply not be the team's night.

Poor visibility led to a misplaced pass from Shuranov being easily picked off by Polish captain Jakub Kaminski. The Lech Posen midfielder then easily found striker Adrian Benedyczak in space. The Parma Calcio prospect finished into the bottom corner for a 5th minute 1-0 lead. The pair would then combine again seven minutes later to put the guests up 2-0.

Captain Kaminski would set up a third goal seconds after that. There was some controversy on the play as Mbom lay on the deck injured after Michal Skoras skirted past him on the Polish left. Mbom himself would then receive a straight red in the 19th when match official Luis Miguel Godinho determined that his foul on Benedyczak denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Di Salvo quickly went into damage control mode, introducing Roberto Massimo of VfB Stuttgart for a 4-2-3 re-format in the 25th. Their confidence ripped out from underneath them, the German youth representatives managed little going forward until the match's hour mark. A brighter phase between the 60th and 67th quickly vanished amid the steadily thickening fog.

In the final ten minutes of a contest long-since decided, Poland pushed for their fourth goal. They ultimately got it in the form of a finish from substitute Kasper Kozlowski as the match entered injury time. The loss to the European Qualifying group's strongest opponent doesn't knock Germany off first place in their qualifying group. The German U21s are nevertheless now ahead of second-placed Israel only on goal differential.

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