Germany’s U21 national team remains undefeated in qualifying for the 2025 European Championships in Slovakia. Coach Antonio Di Salvo’s DFB team won 3-1 (0-1) in Essen.
Ariel Mosór put the guests in front (24th), Eric Martel (56th) and Nick Woltemade (79th) turned the game in favor of the hosts. A little later, Merlin Röhl increased (82′). The German team took the lead in Group D with their fourth win in their fourth game.
“The game was very, very important for us, especially in front of our own crowd. We are of course very happy that we turned it around after a not so good first half.”said Woltemade on the “ProSiebenMaxx” station. “The energy was already there before the game, so we were able to stand in a circle and enjoy it.”said di Salvo. He had wanted this from his team before the game.
Poland threw themselves into the game in the Essen stadium on Hafenstrasse with a lot of self-confidence. After five minutes, Dominik Marczuk had the first shot opportunity – without any threat to the German goal. As a result, Germany got into the game better and increasingly pushed the guests into their own half. Brajan Gruda in particular had a lot of good actions in this early phase of the first half of the game.
One of these situations almost gave Germany the lead: a blocked shot from Gruda from the penalty area landed at Ansgar Knauff, who was in the center, but he didn’t put any pressure behind the ball (14th).
Poland takes the lead
After the missed opportunity, the German team became increasingly stuck in the Polish defense. Youssufa Moukoko tried a few individual actions, but there was no way through against the tightly packed Poles.
The Poles’ lead came as a bit of a surprise: after a corner from the right, Mosor got the ball too freely near the penalty spot and his direct shot was unsustainable.
After the DFB team moved up, Poland had counterattack opportunities, but central defenders Colin Kleine-Bekel and Marton Dardai did their jobs with high quality.
A lot of German pressure after the break
With the substitution of Nick Woltemade after the break, the German team gained a lot of momentum. Poland could only make do with significantly greater and sometimes unfair physical effort.
One of these fouls resulted in the German equalizer. Moukoko hit the ball into the wall, but captain Martel quickly picked up the rebound and shot it home from close range.
A double blow brings the decision
Afterwards, Germany maintained control of the game and rewarded themselves with two nice goals: First, Nathaniel Brown delivered a sharp cross from the left to Woltemade, who received the ball strongly and executed it. And just a few breaths later, Poland’s keeper Kacper Tobiasz had to dig the ball out of his goal again: This time Woltemade prepared from the right, Röhl prepared his pass and put the lid on the game.
In the end a deserved victory
Germany kept their concentration high throughout the game and got fresh inspiration during the break. Against low-lying and very physically present Poles, the DFB team revealed weaknesses in defense at set pieces, but showed class in the dangerous counterattacks. The substitution of Nick Woltemade turned the game in favor of Germany, who ultimately secured a deserved victory.
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