Germany reach semis at expense of Czech hosts
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Czech Republic 1-1 Germany
Germany advanced with a draw that leaves the eliminated hosts waiting on a potential Olympic play-off.
Article top media content
• Germany hold on for 1-1 draw to reach semi-finals as Group A runners-up
• Nico Schulz puts Germany ahead after 55 minutes
• Czech substitute Ladislav Krejčí levels 11 minutes later
• Denmark's 2-0 win over Serbia means they play semi-final in Prague on Saturday
• Germany to play Group B winners in Olomouc; Czechs will have Olympic play-off on Sunday if England reach last four
Germany withstood a scare from the Czech Republic to draw 1-1 with the U21 EURO hosts and secure a semi-final berth at their expense.
Having seen his side start slowly in their two previous games, Horst Hrubesch had demanded focus from the off, and it was third time lucky for the Germany coach. Kevin Volland bustled forward to shoot across goal before Amin Younes saw an effort blocked by Tomáš Koubek.
The Czech goalkeeper was fortuitously well-placed when Matthias Ginter was left unmarked to head goalwards, but the hosts — so clinical against Serbia in their last outing — almost broke the deadlock through Martin Frýdek, whose crisp effort from the edge of the box flew excitingly close to Marc-André ter Stegen's goal.
The UEFA Champions League winner was beaten shortly after half-time, though, and Jakub Brabec's angled header from a Frýdek corner would have found the net only for Julian Korb, who headed off his own goalline. The impish Jiří Skalák then darted between two defenders to prod narrowly wide as Jakub Dovalil's men pressed.
Max Meyer might have provided a definitive riposte had his uncertain first touch not allowed the ball to skip away from him after he had zipped in behind the Czech back four. Schulz was far more assured as he stroked the ball first-time past Koubek when Tomáš Kalas' miscued clearance fell invitingly.
With the wind sucked from the hosts' sails, Germany threatened to sail off over the horizon. Emre Can clipped a curling shot just wide before bursting onto a through ball only to be thwarted by Koubek.
But just as Germany had done to them when they were in control, the Czechs then reclaimed the initiative, substitute Ladislav Krejčí finishing crisply from Ondřej Petrák's cross with virtually his first touch of the ball.
The hosts then pushed in vain for the second goal they needed and Germany almost capitalised on the counterattack in added time. Volland went for goal with Koubek caught upfield but his shot sailed over and Germany's chance to win the group had gone.