Relieved by the successful comeback in the top game, the German U21 national players formed a circle and raised their arms.

After the 3-1 (0-1) win in the European Championship qualifiers against biggest rivals Poland, coach Antonio Di Salvo gathered his team together again on the halfway line and said a few words to his beaming charges.

They didn’t allow themselves to be disturbed by a temporary deficit. In front of 8,559 spectators in Essen, Eric Martel (56th minute), substitute Nick Woltemade (79th) and Merlin Röhl (82nd) ​​scored the goals for the young team. Ariel Mosor initially gave the guests the lead (24th). Germany moved past Poland, who had the same number of points, in the table. Both teams have twelve points. However, leaders Germany have played one game less and are well on their way to the 2025 European Championship in Slovakia.

“The game was very, very important for us, especially in front of our own audience. We are of course very happy that we turned it around after a not so good first half,” said Woltemade on ProSiebenMaxx. “The energy was already there before the game, so we were able to stand in a circle and enjoy it,” said di Salvo. He had wanted this from his team before the game.

Knauff misses the chance to take the lead, Poland scores

Both teams met on equal terms from the start and fought close duels. In the drizzle, technical inaccuracies such as problems with receiving the ball initially prevented the game from flowing properly. It took almost a quarter of an hour before Ansgar Knauff had his first good chance to score. The ball fell at the Frankfurter’s feet in a promising position in the penalty area, but Knauff didn’t hit the ball correctly and shot straight into the arms of the Polish goalkeeper Kacper Tobiasz.

The guests did better. After a corner, defender Mosor, who had moved up, got a shot quite easily in the six-yard box and gave Poland the lead.

The 1-0 gave coach Adam Majewski’s team security. From a well-positioned defense, they repeatedly attacked quickly and thus posed problems for Germany. With a little more efficiency in finishing, Poland could have secured a preliminary decision. Although Germany was by no means hopelessly outnumbered, there was very little to suggest an equalizer.

DFB team with the greater strength reserves

That changed after the break. Above all, the agile Youssoufa Moukoko repeatedly stimulated the game energetically with tempo runs and played a decisive role in the equalizer. The Dortmund player took a free kick, which he shot into the wall himself. From there the ball bounced to Martel and the U21 captain scored to make it 1-1.

After Poland initially had further chances, the DFB team ultimately impressed with their greater reserves of strength. Woltemade and Röhl caused great celebration among the German fans.