U21 Championship Qualification
2 - 0
(1 - 0)
Germany U21
Israel U21
B. Gruda (14), M. Röhl (56)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Gruda, Woltemade, and Röhl impress as German U21s best Israel

In their second fixture in an East German city during the current international break, Antonio di Salvo's Germany U21s have risen back atop their 2025 UEFA U21 qualifying group thanks to a 2-0 win over Israel in Halle. 

A thoroughly dominant performance from Antonio di Salvo's side featured noteworthy performances from a support attacking axis comprised of Merlin Röhl, Brajan Gruda, and Nick Woltemade. 
Antonio di Salvo's German U21 squad managed to maintain its unbeaten record in the current 2025 UEFA U21 European Championship campaign. After a goalless draw against Kosovo on Friday snapped a four-match winning streak dating back to a friendly last September. the footballers representing the Bundesrepublik at the highest youth level were able to get back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Israel early Tuesday evening in Halle. A loss for the Polish U21s earlier in the day means that di Salvo's charges are back atop their qualifying group; with a game inland no less.

Di Salvo made three changes to the XI that drew Kosovo in Chemnitz on Friday. Defender Colin Kleine Beckel - subbed off injured during Friday's draw - remained unavailable. Beckel's replacement Jamil Siebert thus started. Additionally, SV Werder Bremen striker Nick Woltemade replaced Eintracht Frankfurt's Ansgar Knauff. SC Freiburg keeper Noah Atubolu also returned to start in between the sticks over Jonas Ubrig. Woltemade took over in the ten slot in di Salvo's 4-2-3-1, pushing Atubolu's SCF teammate Merlin Röhl out to the left wing.

The DFB XI were very active from the start, with Woltemade and Gruda creating the first scoring chance inside the first minute. Woltemade forced the first save out of Israeli keeper Div Eliasi in the 9th after axis teammates Röhl and Gruda supplied some nice set-up work. Di Salvo's youths were able to reward themselves for the strong opening phase with the 1-0 in the 14th. Woltemade and Gladbach's Rocco Reitz combined strongly in the penalty area. The goal itself belonged to Gruda, who nutmegged Eliasi impressively on the finish.

The German hosts continued to impress with creative and aggressive football for the duration of the half. The trio of attackers working behind Dortmund's  Youssoufa Moukoko fashioned many more scoring chances before the initial 45 was out. Moukoko himself missed a pair of opportunities to net a goal himself. Assisted by a triple personnel change to begin the second half, the Israelis furnished more organized football after the restart. Guy Luzon's team were nevertheless unable to prevent the German U21s from scoring again.

Röhl was on hand to stuff home the rebound of a powerful Gruda distance effort in the 56th. After the 2-0, Atubolu did well to stop a pair of dangerous distance efforts from the guests. There were far fewer optically intriguing attacking sorties from the Germans during the final 20 minutes and generally nothing much doing as substitutes from both sides poured onto the pitch. The match slowly rolled to a rather tame conclusion with the 2-0 scoreline in tact.

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