National team: U21 before the EM-Aus: "Sparkle of hope" is there

Despite their weak start to the European Championship, Germany's U21 footballers still believe they have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals with just one point from two games.

National team: U21 before the EM-Aus: "Sparkle of hope" is there

Despite their weak start to the European Championship, Germany's U21 footballers still believe they have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals with just one point from two games.

"Anything is possible in football," said coach Antonio Di Salvo after the 1-2 (0-1) defeat of the Czech Republic in the second European Championship game on Sunday, which reduced German hopes for the knockout phase to a minimum. In order to avert the first preliminary round elimination since 2013, the defending champions need a win in the final group game against England on Wednesday.

At the same time, the U21s must hope for a win for the Israelis against the Czech Republic, in which Germany retains the better goal difference. "Of course we want to use this little glimmer of hope that is there with a win," said Di Salvo, who is threatened with a fiasco in his first tournament as head coach. "Then we'll see what happens in the next square."

Simple mistakes, no luck: Di Salvo is at a loss

His team's performance in the defeat against the Czech Republic also puzzled Di Salvo, especially the weak first half. "The first half was such that it wasn't enough," admitted the 44-year-old. Looking at the two goals conceded, he said: "You despair as a coach." The coach saw a lack of consistency and a lack of luck in the game as the main reasons. Midfielder Angelo Stiller, scorer for the 1-1 draw, stated: "It's up to the player whether he wants to get the ball 100 percent over the line or not. That's up to each individual, everyone has to think about it."

With self-confidence against title candidate England

Against England, who are already in the quarter-finals with six points, the German team cannot afford so many wasted chances and simple mistakes. The Young Lions have played a convincing tournament so far and also have one of the best rosters of all 16 teams on paper. "We are capable of beating England," said Di Salvo nonetheless.

Moukoko return uncertain against England

Di Salvo left open whether it would be enough for striker Youssoufa Moukoko to play again in the third European Championship game. "We'll have to wait and see," said the coach. The 18-year-old was out against the Czech Republic because of muscular problems after he was the focus of attention in the 1-1 draw against Israel at the start of the European Championship because of his poor performance and the racist slurs against him and Jessic Ngankam. With three substitutions - including 18-year-old Nelson Weiper - Di Salvo brought new momentum to the game against the Czech Republic. "Players were recommended for the starting XI," said the coach. It is also unclear whether the injured Stiller will be fit again in time.

NEXT NEWS