Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Under-21s well beaten by Germany

Germany 3 Northern Ireland 0: Northern Ireland’s under-21 team missed the chance to finish above Germany in their European Championship group after they were soundly beaten by the defending champions in Ingolstadt.

Germany skipper Lewis Holtby scored twice, either side of half-time before substitute Patrick Herrmann added a third.

Northern Ireland had the opportunity to move above the Germans and into third place in Group Five after their 4-0 rout of San Marino on Friday.

The Germans grabbed the lead with a fine solo goal from Holtby three minutes from the interval.

He found space for himself on the edge of the area before unleashing a left-footed drive across goal and past Conor Devlin.

Holtby, a constant danger on the night,got his second goal on the hour mark.

This time he showed composure to finish after he picked up the ball following a counter-attack just inside his own half.

With no defenders to block his path to goal the 19-year-old ran 40 yards before slotting home.

Germany's third arrived after 67 minutes thanks to some sloppy Northern Ireland defending. They needlessly gave away the ball in their own half before another quick German move teed up substitute Herrmann whose side-footed shot eluded Devlin’s grasp.

Germany: Trapp, Rausch, Bell, Kirchhoff, Jantschke, Moritz, Vukcevic (Herrmann 61), Ekici (Rudy 25), Gotze, Holtby (Yalcin 72), Sukuta-Pasu. Subs: Baumann, Funk, Hornschuh, Teixeira.

NORTHERN Ireland: Devlin, Thompson (Grigg 73), Hodson, Flynn, McGivern, Weir, Norwood (Patrick McLaughlin 44), Ferguson, Little, Boyce, McKay (Magennis 65). Subs: Drummond, Gray, Lawrie, Millar.

Referee: Hannes Kaasik (Estonia).

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