Last-gasp Rizzo revives Germany hopes
Friday, 10 July 2015
Germany 1-0 Netherlands
All four teams in Group B now have three points after Gianluca Rizzo came off the bench to score an 89th-minute winner for the holders in Katerini.
Article top media content
• Germany defeat Netherlands to revive Under-19 challenge
• Substitute Gianluca Rizzo taps in 89th-minute winner
• Germany's Leroy Sané has shot cleared off line early on
• Result leaves all four Group B teams on three points
• Final games: Russia v Germany, Spain v Netherlands (13 July)
A last-gasp goal from substitute Gianluca Rizzo gave Germany a narrow but crucial victory against the Netherlands in the second round of UEFA European Under-19 Championship Group B matches.
Having been beaten by Spain in their first fixture, Germany could not afford another defeat and duly began at breakneck speed. Two minutes had not elapsed when Luca Waldschmidt's shot span into the side-netting off the right leg of Joël Drommel; shortly afterwards, the goalkeeper beat away another Waldschmidt attempt after Leroy Sané's shot had been blocked.
A golden Germany chance came and went in the 11th minute as Timo Werner got away down the right and pulled back to Sané; this time the shot beat Drommel but Terry Lartey Sanniez blocked on the line. Sixty seconds later, the Netherlands responded with Bilal Ould-Chikh bringing a diving save from Marius Funk as Aron Winter's side gradually began to establish themselves.
Pelle van Amersfoort had settled the Netherlands' matchday one game against Russia and might have had two more goals to his name before half-time, first spinning adroitly only to fire over. Then he got on the end of Issa Kallon's cross after the No7 had shown Jonas Föhrenbach a clean pair of heels; from a metre out, the header was too high.
Werner and Sané had faded somewhat as the first half progressed but both were quickly threatening the Dutch defence again as the second half unfolded. Werner set up Sané for a shot that flashed across the face of goal, before showing great pace down the right only to shoot over at full stretch.
With the game opening up chances began to come at both ends, Van Amersfoort firing straight at Funk after good work from Frenkie De Jong before Jonas Föhrenbach sent a tantalising ball across the Dutch penalty area. Drommel then saved from Werner and, from the rebound, Lucas Cueto as the champions strove for a winner. Michel Vlap might have won it for the Dutch but instead Rizzo was the hero, tapping in after yet another Werner shot had been saved to leave the section finely poised.
Marcus Sorg, Germany coach
It's a bit of both [relief and joy]. Of course I'm incredibly delighted that the team has won and I'm relieved also because the team invested so much into the game – also in the Spain game – but we weren't rewarded. Today again we put so much into it and that's why I'm relieved that we got our reward in the end.
Of course we believed [we would win]. This team's already come through plenty of difficulties, also in the elite round, and they know they are capable of getting the goals. We've got quality going forward, but of course you're never 100% certain. We knew we had to open things up more and it wasn't happening for us. We also had luck on our side at times, you've got to say. Holland had a few good counterattacks which they played really, really well, but in the end we deserved to win.
Aron Winter, Netherlands coach
Of course it's very tough to lose like that. A minute before we had an opportunity to win it and when you then go on to lose, it's not nice. We knew Germany would start well and put us under pressure and we knew we'd have to give everything to be able to play our own game.
We had a few problems doing that in the first half but in the second we controlled the game. We had a lot of opportunities – although so did they – but we should have got at least a draw. I'm a little bit sick that we've given away the game tonight.