Portugal’s seniors may be European champions but the under-21s displayed none of the defensive commitment of their peers, conceding goals to Serge Gnabry, Matthias Ginter, Davie Selke and Philipp Max. Germany will face 1996 gold medallists Nigeria in Sao Paulo in Wednesday’s semi-finals.
Arsenal forward Gnabry scored seconds before half-time, finishing with composure with his right foot, while Ginter headed in a corner from Julian Brandt in the 57th minute, before Selke and Max both struck in the final 15 minutes.
Portugal defeated Germany 5-0 in the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championships last year, so the Germans were determined to start with a fresh mental state of mind, while Portugal were hoping to play with confidence from that result.
They had the majority of the chances in the half and it was Gnabry who finally found the breakthrough. Julian Brandt collected the ball 10yd out of the penalty area, before looking up and spreading a pass wide to the left wing to find Gnabry, who then took a touch before side-footing a right foot shot into the far corner. It was a composed finish and his sixth of the tournament.
Ginter made it 2-0 in the 57th minute when he headed past Portugal goalkeeper Bruno Varela from eight yards out from a Brandt corner.
In the 75th minute, Selke scored after having multiple chances earlier in the match. Sven Bender won a challenge in midfield, before the ball fell to captain Max Meyer. Meyer played in Selke on the left, who finished with his right foot low and far post, similarly to how Gnabry scored in the first half.
Substitute Philipp Max scored in the 87th minute, five minutes after coming in to the match. Brandt assisted Max by sliding a pass towards the penalty spot, and Augsburg man made no mistake, finishing just inside the far post with his left foot.
German coach Hrubesch, a former senior European champion, retires from his senior youth coach post with the German DFB after the Olympic finals.