Germany and the Republic of Ireland sailed into the UEFA European Under-19 Championship elite round following success in Group 5 in Luxembourg.
Victories against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the host nation decided the top two places in qualifying round Group 5. Germany finished top on goal difference with a 2-2 draw against Ireland today.
Germany were the section's dominant force from the outset, brushing aside FYROM 5-0 in Bascharage – five different players finding the net – and then overcoming Luxembourg by the same scoreline, Samed Yesil scoring twice more to add to his effort on the opening day.
Ireland also managed five goals in their first match, the extremely impressive Michael Drennan hitting a hat-trick to help take the points against a dogged Luxembourg, who managed two goals themselves. Coach Paul Doolin guided Ireland to the 2011 semi-finals in Romania, but his side had to endure a nervy second fixture against FYROM, Drennan scoring the only goal of the game nine minutes from time.
First place was still at stake when Germany faced Ireland. Germany were dominant in the first half through Sebastian Kerk and Samed Yesil in central midfield and Fabian Schnellhardt down the wing. Kerk hit the post after five minutes but he soon made it 1-0 after a fine Yannick Gerhardt run. Yesil's 28th-minute drive doubled the lead but Germany could not increase their advantage and Sam Byrne's half-time introduction for Ireland proved inspired. It was he that pulled one back in the 58th minute with a fine run and shot, and on the hour Ryan Coombes combined with Drennan to secure a draw.
FYROM took third position with a 1-0 defeat of Luxembourg. Both teams had their chances with FYROM's Darko Velkoski especially dangerous, but captain Viktor Angelov sealed the win with a deflected shot 12 minutes from time.
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