Men’s Olympic Football Tournament
- Germany topped UEFA Under-21 Championship winners
- Perfect heat-up for the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020
- Spain exit within the semis, France disappoint and Romania impress
The 2021 UEFA Under-21 Championship got here to an finish on Sunday, with Germany defeating Portugal 1-0 within the last. The match supplied loads of tips on the type of the 4 European nations who will characterize the continent on the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020.
FIFA.com critiques Germany’s run to the title and the campaigns of fellow Olympic hopefuls Spain, France and Romania.
Germany on prime
Played within the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, Sunday’s showpiece match was a primary, with Germany and Portugal having by no means beforehand confronted one another within the last of the competitors. Runners-up to Spain in 2019 – a match the place the 4 qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 have been determined – Germany added a 3rd title to their 2009 and 2017 crowns. Olympic silver medallists at Rio 2016, the place they misplaced to Brazil within the last, the Germans will head to Japan stuffed with confidence. Their opening recreation at Tokyo 2020 will come towards A Seleção on 22 July.
Stefan Kuntz’s prices received off to a reasonably sluggish begin within the competitors, successful simply one in all their group video games and drawing the opposite two. Denmark took all of them the way in which within the quarter-finals, with the Germans successful 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after additional time. Kuntz’s males then edged out the Netherlands 2-1 within the semis.
In the ultimate, they gave few alternatives to a Portugal facet that had scored 12 targets to that time, greater than every other facet within the match. Dangerous on the break, Germany secured victory at the beginning of the second half, with Lukas Nmecha scoring from a intelligent help by man of the match Ridle Baku. Nmecha completed the competitors as prime scorer with 4 targets, whereas Baku’s three assists have been additionally a match excessive.
Spain fall brief in file bid
Defending champions Spain topped their group forward of Italy and took on Croatia within the quarter-finals. After conceding a late penalty, Luis de la Fuente’s facet ultimately accomplished a 2-1 win in additional-time to advance to the final 4. Waiting for them there have been neighbours Portugal, who stopped the Spanish from reaching their third consecutive UEFA Under-21 last courtesy of a late Jorge Cuenca personal purpose.
Spain stay tied with Italy as essentially the most profitable nations within the historical past of the competitors, with 5 wins apiece.
Bleuets off the boil
Beaten 1-0 by Denmark of their Group C opener, France bounced again with 2-0 wins over Russia and Iceland earlier than shedding 2-1 to the Netherlands within the final eight. “It’s an enormous disappointment,” stated Sylvain Ripoll on the finish of a recreation through which his facet opened the scoring earlier than the Dutch accomplished their comeback with a stoppage-time winner.
“We’re going to look at things in the cold light of day,” added Ripoll. “Our job within the days to come back will probably be to place collectively the best workforce for the Olympics. Right now, although, we have to be taught the teachings. It’s robust to lose a match like that.”
Romania maintain their very own
Though Romania have been unable to repeat their 2019 run to the semi-finals, they impressed however by going unbeaten in a really tight Group A, the place they earned respective 1-1 and 0-0 attracts with the Netherlands and Germany and beat Hungary 2-1. Despite amassing 5 factors, they went out of the competitors on purpose distinction.
“I’m satisfied because of the attitude my players showed on the pitch,” stated coach Adrian Mutu after his facet was knocked out. “Our performances throughout the tournament have been outstanding. They surpassed themselves and gave their all, which is the most important thing in my eyes.”