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Di Salvo pleased with U21s after win: "What we wanted to see."

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Germany U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo declared himself both "relieved" and "pleased" after his DFB-Juniors secured a 2-0 victory over the Ukraine in a Friday test fixture. 
Antonio Di Salvo
Antonio Di SalvoMozamaniac CC-BY-SA 4.0
Working with an almost entirely new squad, Germany U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo knew that it would take time for his players to gel in a Friday friendly against the Ukraine in Saarbrücken. After an intense and labored first-half, the players representing the Bundesrepublik at the highest youth level were nevertheless able to get into gear and best their guests 2-0.

The rising attacking tandem of Hoffenheim's Maximilian Beier and Werder Bremen's Nick Woltemade combined on the 1-0 in the 52nd. The U21s were rewarded for an overall solid performance with another goal two minutes from time. SpVgg Greuther Fürth teammates Tim Lemperle and Robert Wagner got their names on the scoresheet after a nice ball win from Mainz's Karlsruhe loan-out Paul Nebel.

"The team showed us what we want to see," di Salvo told the "ran" microphones afterwards, "The fact that we kept a clean sheet is important. Of course things need to improve, but we couldn't expect that everything would work right away. I'm naturally relieved in addition to being pleased."

Newly crowned captain Eric Martel of 1. FC Köln only played the first 45 minutes, but noted that he was "proud" to have been given the honor of wearing the armband. Martel noted that the team had "played very well" in his own post-match interview. Martel's Köln club mate Jonas Urbig, like Lemperle currently working on loan at Fürth, earned the clean sheet with a calm and composed performance between the sticks.

The German U21s now head to Pristina to face Kosovo in their first qualifying match for the 2025 UEFA U21 European Championship. The DFB-Juniors seek to qualify out of a group featuring Kosovo, Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia, and Israel.

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