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Defending champions Germany to face four-time winners Spain in Euro U21 final

It was a late, late show for Germany against Romania, while Spain saw off France in the last four.

Germany celebrate after beating Romania in a 4-2 thriller.
Germany celebrate after beating Romania in a 4-2 thriller.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

LUCA WALDSCHMIDT AND Nadiem Amiri both scored late to fire defending champions Germany into the final of the European U21 championships with a 4-2 win over Romania.

Waldschmidt drew the Germans level at two each from the spot on 51 minutes before putting them in front as the game crept into added time, while Amiri rounded off the scoring in the 94th minute after having opened the scoring with 21 minutes gone in sweltering conditions at Bologna’s Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

Freiburg forward Waldschmidt’s strikes took his tally to seven goals in the tournament and mean he has scored in all four games played by the defending champions.

Despite a spirited attack by the Romanians, who made up the majority of fans among the 16,200 crowd, their unprecedented run ends at the final four.

George Puscas had given his side a 2-1 half-time lead with two goals of his own — the first a penalty after 26 minutes and a powerful header just before the break.

Germany will bid for a third continental title against four-time winners Spain, who beat France in the second semi-final in Reggio Emilia on a day when temperatures hit 38 degrees Celsius in Bologna.

Spain cruised to an emphatic 4-1 win to reach the decider. Luis de la Fuente’s side looked to be in a spot of bother after going behind early on, but they showed admirable character and plenty of class to turn things around with minimal fuss and earn themselves the opportunity to avenge their 1-0 defeat to Germany in the 2017 final.

France opened the scoring from the spot through Jean-Philippe Mateta, but their lead lasted 12 minutes, Marc Roca blasting in before Mikel Oyarzabal put Spain in front with the second penalty of the match in first-half stoppage time.

Spain U21 v France U21 - UEFA European Under-21 Championship - Semi Final - Mapei Stadium Spain celebrate a Roca goal. Source: EMPICS Sport

Les Bleus offered precious little in attack after their early goal and Spain wrapped things up in the second half through Dani Olmo and Borja Mayoral, as La Roja sauntered into Sunday’s final.

Although Spain enjoyed the brighter start, they trailed after 16 minutes thanks to Mateta’s coolly taken spot-kick after Junior Firpo nudged Jeff Reine-Adelaide over.

Paul Bernardoni prevented relentless Spain levelling just before the half-hour mark, brilliantly denying Pablo Fornals from close range. Another impressive save thwarted Roca from the resulting corner, but the midfielder smashed home the rebound.

Oyarzabal completed the turnaround just before the break with a penalty of his own, though the apparent foul by Ibrahima Konate looked harsh. There was no doubt about Spain’s third, however.

Fabian Ruiz latched on to Oyarzabal’s throughball and cleverly squared a disguised pass inside for Olmo to emphatically finish. Spain rounded out the scoring in style, substitute Mayoral slamming home after Fornals’ outrageous cross with the outside of his right boot went right between Bernardoni and his defence.

- Reporting from AFP and OmniSport

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