Germany joined England in the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship after the teams played out an engrossing draw in Halmstad that confirmed Stuart Pearce's side as winners of Group B.
Germany needed a point to make certain of progress and three to overtake a much-altered England side, and the signs were promising when Gonzalo Castro slipped through to slide Horst Hrubesch's team into a fifth-minute lead. Despite their new-look lineup, England enjoyed the better of the opening period thereafter and drew level a minute before the half-hour when Jack Rodwell headed in from a corner. Both sides had chances to take all three points, but ultimately had to settle for one apiece.
Germany included four players with senior caps to their name, and that experience told within five minutes. Jerome Boateng was the architect of the goal, striding forward from central defence to slice open the England back line with a perfectly-weighted pass that one of those full internationals, Castro, flicked beyond the advancing Scott Loach. The prospects looked bleak for an England side showing ten alterations from that which defeated Spain but, led by the impressive Craig Gardner, they gradually worked their way back into the contest although they had to survive another scare when Mesut Özil advanced unchecked for a shot that was deflected away.
Those moments aside England enjoyed the better of the opening period with Gardner pulling the strings in midfield and Andrew Driver – making his first international appearance at any level – a regular outlet on the right. The pair combined to good effect in the 17th minute, Driver swinging in a cross that Gardner headed straight at Manuel Neuer. The warning was not heeded by Germany, however, and the teams were level again 12 minutes later. This time Gardner was the provider, Rodwell heading in his inswinging corner, and the Everton FC player then came close to putting his team in front before half-time when, having won possession inside his own half, he advanced to the edge of the penalty area only to shoot too high.
Pearce made another change at half-time, replacing Loach with Joe Lewis, the 23rd player the England manager has used at these finals. The substitute goalkeeper was swiftly into the action, cutting out Änis Ben-Hatira's low cross with Ashkan Dejagah lurking, while at the other end Adam Johnson's lofted pass allowed Fraizer Campbell to play in Danny Rose for a thunderous shot that was blocked. Campbell was withdrawn for Theo Walcott two minutes before the hour, although the forward's introduction did not have the electrifying effect on the England attack that it had against Spain, Dejagah firing high over Lewis's crossbar.
Chances continued to come at either end, Özil nearly latching on to Sami Khedira's flick-on with Lewis swiftly out to gather at the limit of his penalty area. The Germany goalkeeper was also called into late action, Neuer making solid stops from Richard Stearman and Johnson following corners, but neither side could find a decisive goal. England will therefore play the Group A runners-up in Gothenburg in the semi-finals on Friday, when Germany will travel to Helsingborg to take on the winners of that section.