KRAKOW: Germany are not only world champions but also European under-21 champions after defeating favourites Spain 1-0 in Krakow.
A hat-trick is within sight since a senior German team play Chile in the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup – the 2018 World Cup warm-up tournament – in St Petersburg on Sunday.
A looping 40th-minute header from Hertha Berlin defender Mitchell Weiser was the lone strike which upset a Spanish team including the UEFA tournament’s finest individuals in Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez and Real’s Marco Asensio,
Spain, champions in 2011 and 2013 but absent from the finals in 2015, had beaten Macedonia. Portugal, Serbia and Italy on their way to the final.
Yet Germany almost took the lead in the eighth minute Max Meyer headed against a post and they deserved the lead snatched before half-time as Weiser converted a cross from Jeremy Toljan.
A fine save by keeper Jullian Pollersbeck denied Niguez in the second half as coach Stefan Kuntz’s Germans withstood heavy pressure to take the crown.