Germany v Romania facts
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Holders Germany are in a third successive semi-final and face a Romania side who have never previously got this far.
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Holders Germany have reached the UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals for the third tournament in a row, and face a Romania side who are in the last four for the first time.
• Both teams came through the group stage unbeaten, each collecting seven points in winning their respective sections. Germany beat Denmark 3-1 and Serbia 6-1 before a 1-1 draw against Austria to finish top of Group B; Romania sealed top spot in Group C with a goalless draw against France on matchday three having beaten Croatia 4-1 and England 4-2.
• Germany have won three of the teams' four competitive U21 fixtures, including the most recent – an 8-0 qualifying success in Magdeburg on 9 September 2014 that remains Romania's biggest European U21 Championship defeat. Seven different players were on target for a Germany side coached by Horst Hrubesch, Jonas Hofmann scoring twice against Viorel Moldovan's Romania, whose team included Dragoș Nedelcu and George Pușcaș.
• The game in Giurgiu on 19 November 2013 had ended all square, Claudiu Bumba and Romario Benzar on target for the home side and Philipp Hofmann and Antonio Rüdiger replying for Germany. That was one of only two qualifying fixtures Germany failed to win as they finished first in the section to reach the play-offs, where they beat Ukraine; runners-up Romania were eliminated.
• Germany put five goals past Romania in qualifying for the 2007 finals, Patrick Helmes scoring twice and Mario Gomez, Gonzalo Castro and Aaron Hunt once each in a 5-1 win. Germany progressed to the play-offs, where they were beaten by England; Romania were eliminated.
• Romania's only previous finals appearance, on home soil in 1998, featured a 1-0 extra-time defeat against Germany in the classification play-off.
• While Romania have avoided defeat only once in competitive matches against Germany, they have drawn both friendlies – 0-0 in September 1998 and 1-1 in February 2000. They were beaten 6-2 by West Germany in June 1980, with Pierre Littbarski (2) and Rudi Völler on the scoresheet.
• This is Germany's fifth U21 semi-final, and a third in a row. Their record is W3 L1:
1982: Soviet Union W 9-3 aggregate (4-3 away, 5-0 home – as West Germany)
2009: Italy W 1-0
2015: Portugal L 0-5
2017: England W 2-2 (aet, 4-3 pens)
• The 5-0 semi-final loss to Portugal four years ago is Germany's record European U21 Championship defeat.
• Germany were champions in 2017, their second U21 title following their 2009 success in Sweden. Two years ago in Poland, they finished second in Group C, qualifying for the semi-finals as the best runners-up over the three sections; they beat England 4-3 on penalties in the last four after a 2-2 draw before a Mitchell Weiser goal earned a 1-0 final win against Spain.
• This is the eighth time Germany have qualified for an eight or 12-team final tournament. Aside from their two titles, they were semi-finalists in 2015 and quarter-finalists in 1998. They also reached the last eight in 1990, 1992 and 1996.
• As West Germany, they were runners-up to England in 1982.
• Germany qualified for these finals as Group 5 winners, picking up 25 points from their ten fixtures (W8 D1 L1) and scoring 33 goals – the most of any of the 11 qualified teams, though non-qualifiers Portugal matched that figure. With wins in their last three qualifiers, Germany's results at these finals have now extended their unbeaten run in competitive games to ten (W8 D2).
• A 1-0 loss against Italy on matchday three in 2017 is Germany's sole defeat in their last eight matches in the final tournament (W5 D2).
• Four members of Germany's squad were in the victorious 2017 party; Levin Öztunalı, Waldemar Anton, Mahmoud Dahoud and Nadiem Amiri. Anton was a late replacement for Jonathan Tah.
• Öztunalı was also part of the victorious Germany side at the 2014 European U19 Championship in Hungary.
• Lukas Nmecha scored England's winner in both the semi-final and the final at the 2017 European U19 Championship; having switched his international allegiance, the Hamburg-born striker made his Germany U21 debut against England in March.
• This is Romania's first U21 semi-final – they are the 22nd country to appear in the last four and the first debutants at this stage since Belarus in 2011.
• This is Romania's first international semi-final appearance at any level since the 1981 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where they were beaten 1-0 by West Germany after extra time in the last four. Romania went on to beat England by the same scoreline in the third-place play-off.
• Romania are appearing in the final tournament for only the second time, and the first in 21 years; they lost to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 1998 tournament, which Romania hosted.
• Romania lost all three games at those 1998 finals; they were subsequently beaten by Germany (0-1) and Russia (1-2) to finish in eighth place.
• Since that appearance 21 years ago, Romania have reached the play-offs twice, losing over two legs to France (0-5) ahead of the 2002 finals and England (1-2) in 2011 qualifying.
• This time round, however, Romania were one of five teams to qualify unbeaten (W7 D3), with their four goals against the joint lowest total along with England. They won their final four qualifiers, keeping clean sheets in the last three to make it six overall in the group. They have not lost in this competition in 13 matches (W9 D4), since a 2-0 qualifying defeat in Bulgaria on 11 October 2016.
• Before drawing with France, Romania had won six successive European U21 Championship matches, scoring 18 goals – including four in each of the last three – and conceding only four.
Links and trivia
• The four semi-finalists have all qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – Romania's fourth appearance overall and a first since 1964, which was also held in the Japanese capital. Germany's nine Olympic appearances have yielded two medals; bronze in Seoul in 1988 and silver in Rio de Janeiro three years ago.
• Nmecha set up a goal in Manchester City's 3-3 draw against Leicester's U23 side, featuring Alexandru Pașcanu, in the Premier League 2 in January 2017. The pair also featured in a 1-1 draw between the teams in September 2016.
• Nmecha was on target in Manchester City's 4-3 defeat by an Arsenal side including Vlad Dragomir in the Premier League 2 in August 2017. Both players also appeared in a 1-0 Arsenal win in December 2017.
• Romania coach Mirel Radoi helped Romania to a 5-1 friendly win against Germany in April 2004.