Germany turned on the style in Wilhelmshaven to defeat Romania 5-1 and seal a spot in Friday’s draw for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs as the winners of Group 10.
Two for Helmes
Romania just needed a draw to top the section yet never recovered after falling behind after ten minutes, Mario Gomez, selected in place of the injured Stefan Kiessling, converting a rebound after visiting goalkeeper Mihai Minca parried a long-range shot from Piotr Trochowski. Trochowski also created the second nine minutes later, playing a perfect through-ball for Patrick Helmes who had little trouble placing it into the back of the net. A red card for Christian Ionut Sapunaru on the half-hour signalled the end of Romania’s resistance and Germany went in three goals to the good at the break as Helmes struck again on 39 minutes.
Romania simply had no answer as Dieter Eilts deployed a 4-4-2 system to great effect, and although they scored an away goal through Stefan Radu in the 74th minute, there was still time for Gonzalo Castro (77) to make it 4-1 following a super solo run and substitute Aaron Hunt (86) to complete the scoring. Eilts, whose side qualified for the 2006 final round in Portugal, said: "I didn’t expect us to put in such a performance – the victory was well earned. We played perfectly in the first half."