A clinical display from UEFA Under-21 Euro 2019 Finalists Germany saw them secure victory over Paul Bodin’s Wales at Wrexham’s Racecourse on Tuesday night.
The young dragons settled into the game well and caused the visitors problems in the opening exchanges of the game, with the running of Mark Harris, Brennan Johnson and Daniel Mooney seemingly giving Wales control of the early on.
A skilful backheeled pass from Harris after 17 minutes caught the German defence flat-footed and allowed Johnson in one-on-one with the goalkeeper, Schalke’s Markus Schubert, but the stopper was just alert enough to swipe the ball from the feet of the Wales number 10 and clear the danger.
Germany forward Robin Hack capitalised on the missed Welsh chance soon afterwards to put the visitors 1-0 up after 19 minutes, before an unlucky deflection off Rhys Norrington-Davies sent another shot from Hack five minutes later into the back of the net for 2-0.
Good pressing from the Wales forwards was forcing mistakes out of the German defence, but Bodin’s side were unable to capitalise on their opportunities, and Hack bagged his hat-trick after half an hour when he glanced a header home to make it 3-0.
Liam Cullen curled an effort just wide from the edge of the box after 40 minutes which seemingly had the German ‘keeper beaten, before Johannes Eggestein made it 4-0 with three minutes to play. Harris had a chance to pull a goal back before the interval as he was through on goal and attempted to lob the keeper, but his effort just drifted wide of the post.
Wales did get on the scoresheet soon after the restart, as Harris made it 4-1 with an absolute rocket of a penalty, sending Schubert the wrong way and powering a strike deep into the top corner.
Germany made it 5-1 soon after, as Wales couldn’t quite clear the danger in their box and Adrian Fein capitalised to restore the visitors’ advantage.
Johnson was played in behind the German defence after an hour by a beautiful ball from Cullen, but the ball got away from him slightly and his strike flew just over, and Germany finished the fixture 5-1 victors.
Paul Bodin’s U21s will next join up for qualifying action in October, as they head to Moldova for their third UEFA Euro 2021 qualifying fixture, before welcoming Bosnia-Herzegovina to Wales for their fourth qualifier in November.
CYMRU U21: 1. George Ratcliffe, 2. Cameron Coxe, 3. Rhys-Norrington-Davies, 4. Jack Evans (13. Ryan Stirk 66'), 5. Regan Poole, 6. Ben Cabango, 7. Liam Cullen (20. Aaron Lewis 66'), 8. Robbie Burton, 9. Mark Harris, 10. Brennan Johnson (17. Harry Clifton 76'), 11. Daniel Mooney (19. Oli Cooper 86')
Subs not used: 12. Adam Przybek, 14. Keiran Evans, 15. Brandon Cooper, 16. Niall Huggins, 18. Cole DaSilva
Yellow cards: Robbie Burton