European U21 Championship 2017: Germany, Italy Advance from Group C

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2017

KRAKOW, POLAND - JUNE 24: Serge Gnabry of Germany shoots during the UEFA U21 championship match between Italy and Germany at Krakow Stadium on June 24, 2017 in Krakow, Poland. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images)
Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images

Italy beat Germany 1-0 during Saturday's 2017 UEFA Under-21 European Championship action, booking their spot in the next round. Thanks to Denmark's 4-2 win over the Czech Republic, the Germans also advanced from Group C.

In the semi-finals, England will take on Germany, while Italy face Spain.

Italy and Germany didn't pull any punches in the first half at Krakow Stadium, with the Azzurri needing to beat Die Mannschaft to have a chance of qualifying. Federico Bernardeschi capitalised on a mistake to give his side the lead in the first half, and per Henry Winter of the Times, the match was an entertaining affair:

Denmark's solid first-half showing against the Czech Republic aided the Italians, as the previously winless side took a 2-1 lead. Lucas Andersen and Kenneth Zohore scored, while Patrik Schick gave a poor Czech side a glimmer of hope.

Tomas Chory tied things up for the Czechs after the break, but Zohore restored the lead from close range. When Marcus Ingvartsen made it 4-2, the Italians knew they just had to hold on for the win to advance.

Czech Republic's defender Daniel Holzer (L) and Denmark's forward Kenneth Zohore vie for the ball during the UEFA U-21 European Championship Group C football match Czech Republic v Denmark in Tychy, Poland on June 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIOTR NOWAK
PIOTR NOWAK/Getty Images

Despite tense moments and a few incidents, the Azzurri managed to keep Germany from scoring.

Out of the teams that have qualified for the semi-finals, Spain have by far been the most impressive. La Roja won all of their matches―including a victory over Serbia with mostly backups―and conceded just a single goal in the process, while scoring nine.

Robbie Dunne of AS English was impressed:

England got their Group A campaign off to a false start with a draw against a talented Sweden team, but a narrow win over Slovakia and a dominant showing against Poland was enough to book a ticket to the next round.

The Three Lions boast plenty of talent but perhaps lack the depth to win the final. They should still like their chances of making it there, however.

    

For a look at full group-stage results and standings, visit the event's official website.