Germany U21 - Netherlands U21

Europe: Euro U21
Germany U21 L. Nmecha (84)
MOL Aréna Sóstó (Székesfehérvár)1-1
Netherlands U21 J. Kluivert (48)

Nmecha equalizer cancels out Justin Kluivert goal as German U21s draw Dutch 1-1

By Peter Vice

For a time it looked as if qualification for the knockout stages might be jeopardy for Stefan Kuntz's "Jungs".

Fortunately, substitute Jonathan Burkardt was able to set up Lukas Nmecha for the lead striker's second goal of the tournament and a late equalizer against Holland.

The German U21s now find themselves with on the doorstep of the quarterfinals with one group stage match left.

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Stefan Kuntz made two changes to the XI that dispatched Hungary 3-0 on Wednesday. Young Mainz prospect, questionable prior to the match due to abductor problems, took a seat. Köln's Salih Özcan started in his place. Özcan's cathedral city teammate Ismail Jakobs also took the place of Greuther Fürth's David Raum.

Kuntz's formation appeared deliberately stretched to give Jakobs and Ridle Baku extra space on the flanks. A three man backline was immediately discernible. Nico Schlotterbeck, Amos Pieper, and Joshua Vagnoman remained back while Arne Maier and Niklas Dorsch moved up and slightly further apart.

This more offensively minded 3-4-3 encountered significant difficulty against a Dutch 5-2-3. The attacking engine never really got going during the first half, during which a series of injury timeouts for the Dutch squad also adversely affected the flow. Finn Dahmen, the surprise choice third-string keeper whom Kuntz placed his trust in, allowed the Oranje to open the scoring shortly after the restart.

The 23-year-old took a poor touch on a handle and unfortunately gifted RB Leipzig's Justin Kluivert a wide open shot at goal. Kluivert made no mistake in slotting home a 48th minute finish. The German "Jungs" didn't lack determination in mounting a response, rather precision passing necessary to generate quality scoring chances . Arne Maier tried some trickery, but the team didn't get their first legitimate opportunity until a Schlotterbeck header in the 77th.

One minute later, Kuntz employed his first changes of the match with a double substitution. Raum and Mateo Klimowicz relieved Jakobs and Özcan. The DFB-XI kept the pressure up and rarely allowed the Dutch on the ball. An Amos Pieper effort in the 81st forced Dutch keeper Kjell Scherpen into an acrobatic save. The scoreline nevertheless held with time ticking away fast.

The lightly injured Burkardt ended up proving the hero after all. Within a minute of being subbed on the 83rd, the Mainzer toasted Dutch defender Sven Botman and serviced lead striker Lukas Nmecha perfectly for the late equalizer. The Romanian U21s the Hungarians 2-1 in the group's other kickoff. Germany now sit atop the group, tied with Romania on goal difference but ahead on goal differential.

The group's two team teams meet in the final group stage game on Tuesday. Kuntz's youngsters need only to draw to reach the quarterfinals.

Germany U21
12Finn Dahmen
2Josha Vagnoman
5Amos Pieper
4Nico Schlotterbeck
15Ismail Jakobs ↩77
8Arne Maier (C) ↩82
6Niklas Dorsch
21Ridle Baku ↩89
11Mërgim Berisha ↩82
13Salih Özcan ↩77
10Lukas Nmecha
1Marcus Schubert
23Lennart Grill
7Youssoufa Moukoko
9Jonathan Burkardt ↪82
18Florian Krüger
3David Raum ↪77
14Stephan Ambrosius
16Malick Thiaw
19Maxim Leitsch
17Anton Stach ↪82
20Vitaly Janelt ↪89
22Mateo Klimowicz ↪77
Netherlands U21
1Kjell Scherpen
12Jordan Teze
3Perr Schuurs
4Sven Botman
5Mitchel Bakker
14Cody Gakpo
20Abdoulrahmane Harroui
8Teun Koopmeiners (C)
11Noa Lang ↩22
7Justin Kluivert ↩78
10Dani de Wit ↩88
16Justin Bijlow
23Maarten Paes
9Myron Boadu
19Brian Brobbey ↪88
21Javairô Dilrosun ↪78
2Deyovaisio Zeefuik
13Danilho Doekhi
18Lutsharel Geertruida
6Ferdi Kadıoğlu ↪22
17Jurgen Ekkelenkamp
22Ludovit Reis

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