“Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.” – Gary Lineker.
Germany have progressed to the final of the European U-21 Championship after beating England 5-4 on penalties. After an exciting game that ended 2 – 2, England’s hopes were once again shattered by a devastating penalty miss from Nathan Redmond.
The German’s opened the scoring after 35 minutes thanks to a brilliant header from striker Davie Selke. England managed to pull one back through Demarai Gray, before going ahead after the break with a close range effort from Tammy Abraham. Germany substitute Felix Platte made it 2-2 on 70 minutes, forcing the game into extra time.
Following a string of missed chances in extra time the game went to penalties. England took the initial advantage when Jordan Pickford produced a fine stop to keep out Yannick Gerhardt, but the German’s responded instantly when Julian Pollersbeck denied Tammy Abraham. With Pickford guessing the right way on multiple occasions, it seemed as if England just needed to hold their nerve; however, the pressure proved too much for Nathan Redmond, and England were once again denied by Pollersbeck – and denied a place in the final.
The result will no doubt haunt England for many years to come, but the young lions can take a lot of positives from their overall tournament performance. England look to have a bright future in these players, and hopefully many of them will get another crack at the Germans in the not so distant future.