Germany inflicted another penalty-shootout loss on fierce soccer rival England, this time in the semifinals of the Under-21 European Championship on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck saved from Nathan Redmond to clinch a 4-3 shootout win for the Germans, after the match ended 2-2 after extra time.
England’s senior team lost to Germany on penalties in the semifinals of the 1990 World Cup and 1996 European Championship. At Euro 96, Stefan Kuntz was a member of the Germany team and he is now coach of the country’s Under-21 side, which will play Spain in the final in Krakow on Friday.
Germany reached its third final at a European Under-21 competition and will go for its second title, after beating England in 2009.
Davie Selke headed Germany in front in the 35th minute before England responded with goals either side of halftime by Demarai Gray and Tammy Abraham. Felix Platte equalized in the 70th, and Germany dominated the final 20 minutes of normal time and in extra time but had to settle for penalties. Pollersbeck made two saves in the shootout, first from Abraham before he dived to his right to parry away Redmond’s attempt.
A year to the day that its senior team lost to Iceland in the European Championship’s last 16 for one of English soccer’s most embarrassing results, England can look back at a successful summer for its youth sides despite this painful loss.
England reached the final of the Under-17 European Championship in Croatia in May and won the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea this month.