Germany are on course for a third UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification in four attempts after a 3-0 play-off first-leg victory in Ukraine.
Philipp Hofmann opened the scoring in the 35th minute and Max Meyer made goals for Kevin Volland and Jonas Hofmann after the interval. Ukraine now have a pretty tough task to deny the 2009 champions in Essen on Tuesday.
Ukraine nearly scored with their first attack, Vladyslav Kalitvintsev's ball turned narrowly wide from 16 metres by Vladyslav Kulach. But Germany were ahead later in the half as Jonas Hofmann's cross from the left was headed in from close range by namesake Philipp.
The second goal followed just past the hour, Meyer sending Volland clear to beat Yevhen Nepliakh, round keeper Maxym Koval and guide the ball into the empty net. It was 3-0 with 11 minutes left, Meyer getting past Oleksandr Noyok on the left and cutting back for Jonas Hofmann to drive in a first-time shot. Germany's counterattacks nearly produced more goals but they look on course for the Czech Republic next June.
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