By 90Min
June 24, 2019

Germany held off a spirited Austrian side to earn a 1-1 draw in Udine and advance into the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship. After two convincing wins to start their campaign, Germany were tested for long periods of this game, but managed to remain undefeated, ensuring qualification.

Elsewhere, Denmark are out of the running for a place in the final four. They overcame Serbia 2-0 to record their second successive win, moving into second place in the group. 

However, their margin of victory was not enough, and instead it is Italy who face a nervous wait to see if they will finish as the best second-placed side, with the final group games being played on Monday evening.

Germany 1-1 Austria

Requiring just a point to top their group, Germany went ahead inside 14 minutes thanks to a wonder-strike from Gian-Luca Waldschmidt. The 23-year-old picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and produced a thunderous finish into the top corner to take his goal tally for the tournament to five.

Far from disheartened, Austria levelled matters just ten minutes later. A rather innocuous looking free-kick came into the German box and appeared to be a simple catch for goalkeeper Alexander Nubel. Yet Nubel raised his knee when claiming the ball, catching Sasa Kalajdzic square in the face, leading to the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Kevin Danso stepped up and coolly converted to make it 1-1.

Visibly growing in confidence, Austria created the better chances for the remainder of the half. Nubel went some way to redeeming himself with a fine save from a close-range Kalajdzic header, and the Austrian forward went even closer in added time, only to see another header cannon back out in to play off the base of the post.

Austria wasted another glorious opportunity in the 56th minute, as Husein Balic ran through on goal, but could only direct his effort straight at Nubel, who made a sharp stop with his right foot.

The game was opening up now, allowing Germany to fashion chances of their own. Levin Mete Oztunali saw his shot well-blocked after finding space in the box, and Nadiem Amiri nearly put his side ahead in the 77th minute, with his free-kick drifting narrowly wide.

The final whistle signalled the end to a gripping contest, as Germany joined Spain in the semi-finals. Both sides made the final in 2017, and will fancy their chances of making the showpiece event once more this year.

Denmark 2-0 Serbia

With Germany getting the point that they needed to secure first place, Denmark knew that they had to win by three clear goals to avoid elimination. 

They started brightly, as Anders Dreyer squandered a presentable opening by snatching at his shot when clean through, sending the ball wide of the far post. 

Thereafter, Jacob Bruun Larsen was on a one-man mission to break the deadlock. He came close with a volley that flew just over, before going one better in the 20th minute, curling a precise finish into the corner of the net. 

The Borussia Dortmund forward almost doubled his and Denmark's tally on the stroke of half time, only to be denied by Dragan Rosic in the Serbian goal.

Denmark did open up a two goal cushion six minutes after the interval when Jacob Rasmussen slotted home from a corner. 

With all the momentum behind them, Denmark thought they had grabbed the crucial third goal when Huddersfield midfielder Philip Billing tapped the ball into the bottom corner after a flowing move. Following a lengthy VAR check, the goal was cruelly ruled out for offside, much to the bemusement of the Danish players.

That proved to knock the wind out of Denmark's sails, as Serbia almost netted a late consolation goal. Luka Adzic could only clip the bar with his shot though, summing up a miserable tournament for his side, who failed to claim any points from their three matches.

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