European U-21 Championship: Germany Into Final After Win Over Italy

A single goal in the second-half from Andreas Beck was enough for Germany to book heir place in the U-21 Championship finals against England…

Italy 0-1 Germany  

First Half  

Italy’s Sebastian Giovinco fired the first warning shot of the game after just two minutes but the ball flew well wide of Manuel Neuer’s goal.  Germany got their first effort in on goal a few minutes later when Gonzalo Castro let fly from outside the area, but a corner was the only result.  

The following corner caused problems in the Italy defence with Benedikt Hoewedes getting his head to Mesut Oezil’s delivery, only for the ball to miss the goal narrowly.   

Germany continued their bright start to the game when full-back Dennis Aogo hit a shot from distance only to see goalkeeper Consigli parry it to safety. The Azzurri however were not happy to sit back and Giovinco once more tried his luck on seven minutes only to see his shot pushed over the bar by the German goalkeeper.   

The attacking start to the game continued with Marco Andreolli getting a header in on goal following a corner. A combination of Manuel Neuer and the crossbar saw the ball stay out while Andreas Beck cleared the danger.  

The best chance of the game then fell to the Italians on 18 minutes with Marco Motta this time the one to head dangerously goalwards.  Neuer saved well before Robert Acquafresca fired the loose ball over the bar.   

Germany’s threat then seemed to dwindle as the Italian defence gained the upper hand. A superb ball across the face of the goal on 36 minutes from Acquafresca almost set Italy up for the opening goal, only for Fabian Johnson to clear at the vital moment.       

Second Half  

Three minutes into the second period and the first goal of the game arrived in the Germans favour. Horst Hrubesch’s side combined well in midfield before Hoffenheim’s Beck got on the ball. He let fly from distance and saw his effort nestle in the back of the Italian net to hand Germany a 1-0 lead.     

Two minutes later and Italy were handed a dangerous free-kick opportunity on the edge of the box only for Mario Balotelli to curl his effort narrowly wide.   

Germany were then forced into a change following an injury to Marko Marin with Anis Ben-Hatira coming on. Italy were finding it rather difficult in the opening minutes of the second period to break down the Germans while at the same time allowing too much space for the counterattack.    

On 64 minutes, an Italian free-kick provided a golden opportunity only for Acquafresca to fail to get a proper contact following a free-kick from Giovinco.    

On 73 minutes substitute Ben-Hatira cleared off the goal-line following a ball in from Robert Acquafresca. The Italians went equally as close on 82 minutes when Luca Cigarini sent a free-kick effort goalwards.  Andreolli got his head to the ball only for Neuer to get down well to save.    

Germany found themselves under constant pressure as the game entered the final stages, but to their credit they stood up to all the Italians threw at them .          

Goals  

0-1  Beck (48)  

Italy: Consigli, Motta, Andreolli, Bocchetti, Criscito, Cigarini, Morosini, Candreva (Abate 68), Balotelli, Acquafresca (Paloschi 79), Giovinco   

Germany: Neuer, Beck, Hoewedes, Boateng, Boenisch, Castro, Aogo, Johnson, Marin (Ben-Hatira 55), Oezil (Hummels 90), Dejagah (Wagner 87)

Mathew Burt, Goal.com