A late header from Josip Drmic rescued a draw for ten-man Switzerland in Leverkusen to set up an intriguing second leg of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off against Germany.
The 2011 runners-up looked to be heading for defeat when Fabian Schär's foul on Sebastian Polter allowed Sebastian Rudy to score from the spot with eight minutes remaining. However, substitute Drmic rose above Jan Tilman Kirchhoff with the clock showing 87 minutes, to register a crucial away goal.
After scoring 39 goals in ten Group 1 games, it came as no surprise when 2009 winners Germany settled swiftly into their attacking stride. Only the finest of touches from Schär prevented Peniel Mlapa heading in after four minutes. The FC Basel 1893 defender denied Germany again moments later as a last-ditch tackle halted Alexander Esswein when sent clear. Esswein volleyed just wide from an angle, and defender Lasse Sobiech headed over as Rainer Adrion's side piled on the pressure.
Roman Bürki needed to be on top form to deny Mlapa with two excellent sharp saves after the interval. However, Swiss defiance was finally broken when Polter streaked into the box, and Schär brought him down. Rudy's penalty appeared to have won it, but against all expectations Pajtim Kasami's right-wing cross was headed past Bernd Leno at the back post to earn a vital draw ahead of Tuesday's return fixture in Lucerne.
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