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Germany planning pays off for Öztunali

Levin Öztunali reflected on a perfectly-executed game plan as Germany raced into the final, six-goal Davie Selke keen to share the spotlight with his team-mates.

Levin Öztunali celebrates scoring Germany's third goal
Levin Öztunali celebrates scoring Germany's third goal ©Sportsfile

Levin Öztunali was reflecting on a game plan that had worked to perfection as Germany overwhelmed Austria to reach the UEFA European Under-19 Championship final for the first time since 2008.

Goals from Davie Selke and Marc Stendera in the first 30 minutes gave Marcus Sorg's side an advantage they never looked like relinquishing, Öztunali and Hany Mukhtar completing an emphatic victory. "It was a very good game for us; we decided we wanted to press right from the start and did just that," Öztunali told UEFA.com.

"We wanted to attack early, create and take chances and dominate our opponents," added the Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder, the grandson of former West Germany internatioal Uwe Seeler. "It worked out from the start. We managed to score the opener, got a second goal, and then it was easier to play. We're very happy to be in the final and we hope we can win it."

While Germany have been ruthless in front of goal, three clean sheets in their four games in Hungary have been the foundation of their progress to Thursday's final. "It's always good if the goalkeeper doesn't concede, that gives confidence and strength to the whole team," Öztunali added. "If that can hold in the final as well then we will be very happy."

At the other end of the pitch, Selke has taken the headlines with six goals yet, as ever, played down his personal contribution. "I'm very happy but not because I scored – because we qualified for the final," he said. "It was a great performance, I'm very proud of the team."

Davie Selke with coach Marcus Sorg
Davie Selke with coach Marcus Sorg©Sportsfile

Sorg has requested greater focus from his players throughout the tournament and Selke believes Germany did just that at the Szusza Ferenc Stadion. "We showed great concentration; it was one of our best games, on a par with the elite round game against Spain," he explained. "Everyone did their job very well and I'm proud to be part of this team."

The SV Werder Bremen forward has scored in every game at the final tournament, but sees those goals as the result of a group effort. "Everybody works very hard, not just me, and we're rewarded with goals and victories as a team," said Selke. "Everybody starts right from the first whistle. Of course I benefit from that; things go well for the team, that leads to me getting the ball – and scoring."

Germany's players were able to enjoy their win with friends and family in the stadium at the final whistle, Selke describing their presence as "giving me power" – something with which Öztunali was in full agreement. "It's always nice when you have fans there to support you, celebrating a victory is always enjoyable. It is always special to play in a final, and the final of a European Championship is even more so. We don't want anyone to take that away from us."