Amiri leads U21s to final: "Absolutely over the moon"

Nadiem Amiri played a key role in guiding the Germany U21 side to the final of the Euro being held in Italy and San Marino. The TSG star scored two sensational goals and provided an assist in his side's 4-2 (1-2) win over Romania. Amiri's Germany will now go head-to-head with Spain in Sunday evening's final (kick-off 20:45 CET, broadcast live in Germany on ARD).

Nadiem Amiri, the hero of a heart-stopping evening, had to take a minute to compose himself before stepping in front of the camera for the post-match interview. ''I'm absolutely over the moon that we managed to make it through,'' he said. It was a feeling he shared with each one of his teammates as well as the over 5.66 million TV viewers back home. Amiri was the star man in an excellent performance from the young German side. Head coach Stefan Kuntz placed the 22-year-old in the starting line-up for the first time in the tournament - and Amiri certainly repaid the trust placed in him: in the 21st minute, he received the ball deep in his own half and embarked on a barnstorming solo run which he topped off with a fine finish from the edge of the box to give his side a 1-0 lead. The Romanians responded well, going ahead before half-time thanks to two goals from George Puscas (26 and 44). During the interval, Stefan Kuntz found the right words to give his young charges the requisite morale boost: ''It was very emotional. He was really direct in his half-time sppech and that helped push us on. We managed to show our character in the second half,'' said Amiri after the match, going on to add: ''I'd like to thank the coach for putting his trust in me.''  

Stefan Kuntz ''takes his hat off''

Kuntz also showed his gratitude - to Amiri and the whole team: ''At half-time we asked ourselves if that was the way we wanted to bow out of a big tournament. I can only take my hat off to the team and the way they responded.''  

Despite the high temperature, the young Germans were able to get the better of a strong Romanian side in the second half: after Luca Waldschmidt turned the game on its head with a penalty kick (51) and a 90th minute goal set up by Amiri, it was the TSG star who put the icing on the cake with a 94th minute goal from a free-kick. Teammate Benjamin Henrichs, who followed the game from the sidelines due to a suspension, filmed the goal and posted the video on his Instagram account with the caption: ''Nadiem Amiri I love you.'' There was a sense of joy and gratitude in the air on this special evening which saw Germany return to the final of the U21 Euro two years on from their 2017 triumph. 

Löw praises U21 side

Amiri has no doubts about what his team have to do going in to Sunday's final (20:45 CET, broadcast live in Germany on ARD) against a Spanish side who beat France 4-1: ''Now we have to regenerate, carry on our momentum, show strength of character and give our absolute utmost to try and be crowned champions of Europe once more.'' 

Regardless of whether or not they go on to lift the trophy, the U21 side have captured the hearts of the public - and also attracted the attention of senior coach Joachim Löw: ''We will no doubt continue to savour the performances of many of these players beyond U21 level.'' 

All Germany's U21 Euro matches at a glance:

Nadiem Amiri – Germany U21

Monday, 17 June, U21 Euro, 21:00 CET: Germany U21 – Denmark U21 3-1

Thursday, 20 June, U21 Euro, 21:00 CET: Germany U21 – Serbia U21 6-1

Sunday, 23 June, U21 Euro, 21:00 CET: Austria U21 – Germany U21 1-1

Thursday, 27 June, U21 Euro, semi-final, 18:00 CET: Germany U21 – Romania U21 4-2


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