Group B winners Portugal take on Group A runners-up Germany in their semi-final in Olomouc as they look to claim their first-ever UEFA Under-21 Championship.
Portugal have only once reached the final of the tournament, when they lost to Italy in 1994 21 years ago. Germany, on the other hand, have a more successful recent history, having won the tournament six years ago.
The Germans, who have never lost a semi-final in the tournament before, will be fancying their chances against the Portuguese, especially with the likes of Barcelona treble-winner Marc-André ter Stegen and skipper Kevin Volland in their ranks. With both teams going into the match unbeaten, the Germany coach feels the omens bode well for them. “This all feels very Swedish to me,” said Horst Hrubesch after his team reached the semi-finals with an identical sequence of results as in the group stage in 2009: DWD. They finished second in the group then and eventually won the tournament. “If things continue as they did then, I’ll have no objections.”
Denmark, Sweden bidding to create history
Neither Denmark nor Sweden have won the championship before but only one of them will make their way into the final when they meet in Prague for the other last-four encounter.
Having contested a 2-2 draw in a pre-tournament friendly 15 days ago, both sides will know what to expect, while the fans can look forward to a closely contested game.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2015.
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