Germany made it into the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament with a 1-1 draw against hosts Serbia on Monday.
The Germans missed out on last year's finals after conceding a last-gasp winner to Ukraine in their concluding elite round encounter. They made no such mistake in Group 5 this time around, securing the point they needed to finish above the mini-tournament hosts on goal difference. Both teams had won their opening two games of the campaign.
Germany began in particularly eye-catching fashion, cruising to a 4-0 victory over 2012 semi-finalists Georgia. Phillipp Ochs scored twice before late goals from substitute Allessandro Fiore-Tapia and captain Benjamin Henrichs added gloss to the result. Serbia also made a winning start, defeating the Republic of Ireland 2-1 thanks to a penalty from Luka Jović three minutes into added time.
The Irish were more soundly beaten in their second outing, succumbing 3-0 to Germany, who went in front through Max Besuschkow inside the first minute. Arianit Ferati and Ochs also found the net. Serbia had few problems getting the better of Georgia, Ivan Šaponjić and Strahinja Karišić on the mark in the space of six second-half minutes.
That meant a winner-takes-all encounter in Novi Sad in the final round of matches. Šaponjić put Serbia ahead after 13 minutes, but Oguzhan Aydogan's goal just after the hour signalled a return to the finals for Germany.
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