U21 Championship Qualification
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Germany U21
Kosovo U21
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Germany U21 winning streak comes to an end with goalless draw in Chemnitz

The four-match winning streak of Antonio di Salvo's Germany U21 squad has come to end via a 0-0 draw against visiting Kosovo Friday evening in Chemnitz. The team representing Germany at the highest youth level remain undefeated through five rounds of qualifying for the 2025 UEFA U21 European Championship, yet will surely be disappointed at having failed to score a goal. 
Antonio di Salvo's Germany U21 squad have drawn the first of their two 2025 UEFA U21 European Championship qualifying fixtures scheduled for the current international break. Despite dominating proceedings against visiting Kosovo on Friday evening at the Stadion An der Gellertstraße in Chemnitz, the DFB-Juniors were unable to find the back of the net. Kosovo keeper Mustafe Abdullahu made his contribution to the goalless draw with some fine saves. The hosting Germans nevertheless weren't especially sharp during their many opportunities in front of goal.

Di Salvo made five changes to the XI that lined up against Poland in the squad's last match four months ago. SpVgg Greuther Fürth's Jonas Urbig was preferred to SC Freiburg's Noah Atubolu in goal. Four changes to the outfield saw Bright Arrey-Mbi, Luca Netz, Rocco Reitz, and Jan Thielmann replace Leandro Morgalla (injured), Marton Dardai (now representing Hungary), Nathaniel Brown (bench), and Maximilian Beier (promoted to the senior national team). Youssoufa Moukoko spearheaded a 4-2-3-1 directly supported by Brajan Gruda, Merlin Röhl, and Ansgar Knauff in attack.

The visiting Kosovars had to be at their best defensively to stem an early wave of attacks from the DFB-Juniors. The German youths were able to register their first shot on target at the quarter-of-an-hour mark via Reitz. Shorty after 20 minutes had elapsed, fouls, stoppages, and injury timeouts robbed the match of its momentum. Holstein Kiel central defender Colin Kleine-Bekel - one of the players struggling with injury - could not continue and had to be subbed off at the half-hour-mark.

Di Salvo's crew were able to pick up the pace again during the final 15 minutes of the half, yet found most of their centralized attacks successfully defended by the Eastern European guests. A few fairly strong attack charges near the end of the half at least produced some excitement. Röhl got a strong effort off in the 44th, though the Freiburg attacker might have done better to continue dribbling into the area to get closer to the goal. The opening 45 concluded without any tallies on the board.

Moukoko ensured that the Germans would get another chance at goal just after the restart with a sharp effort that whizzed just wide in the 48th. Two minutes after that, Knauff curled an effort past the post following a nice one-two with Moukoko. Substitute Siebert then unleashed a dangerous distance effort in the 57th. Kosovo keeper Mustafe Abdullahu did extremely well to save the slightly deflected shot and preserve the scoreline.

Amid an uninterrupted period of pressure, Moukoko and Röhl sent additional efforts wide before the hour-mark came. Combination play in the lead-up to the chances remained rather clever, yet the finishes were sorely lacking in quality. Such was the case again in the 76th, when subbed-on Werder Bremen striker Nick Woltemade headed wide of the mark. A flurry near the end put Abdullahu's palms to work without being especially exciting.

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