A commanding Germany won Group 7, leaving Montenegro to overcome hosts Northern Ireland in a dramatic final-day decider to snatch second place.
Article top media content
Germany dominated UEFA European Under-19 Championship Group 7 while Montenegro overcame hosts Northern Ireland on the final day to join the section winners in the elite round.
Horst Hrubesch's Germany side began their campaign in emphatic style with a 5-1 success against Northern Ireland in Coleraine. Phillip Hofmann and Nico Schulz each scored twice in a match that produced five goals in 11 second-half minutes having remained scoreless for 53 minutes. Montenegro's earlier encounter with Belarus had stayed 0-0 for the entire 90 minutes in testing conditions in Dungannon.
Germany then saw off Montenegro with a 2-0 win in Lurgan thanks to goals from Julian Draxler and Amin Younes. Draxler's free-kick inside the opening two minutes gave the 2008 champions the lead but an inspired performance from Montenegro goalkeeper Danijel Petković meant they had to wait until the 89th minute for Younes' clincher.
Hrubesch's side went into their final game with qualification guaranteed but were caught out in the first half against Belarus, Yuri Kovalev, Aleksandr Edeshko and Evgeni Klopotski all scoring for their opponents in the opening 45 minutes. Two half-time substitutions and a tweak to a 4-2-4 formation soon reaped rewards, however, Germany drawing level thanks to Dominique Heintz's effort and another Hofmann double. Indeed, they could have secured victory after winning a penalty two minutes from time but Leonardo Bittencourt's attempt was well saved by Pavel Okhremchuk.
Northern Ireland responded to their opening defeat by Germany with a 3-1 victory against Belarus, meaning they went into their final game against Montenegro with both teams having a chance of reaching the elite round. Sava Gardašević put Montenegro in front on the half-hour and, although Josh Carson's fantastic free-kick levelled, Boris Kopitović's header from Milos Kalezic's corner was enough to ensure Montenegro finished second.