Bernardo Silva, Ricardo Pereira, Ivan Cavaleiro, Joao Mario and Ricardo Horta all scored for the Portuguese, who dominated from start to finish and thoroughly deserved their win, as Germany finished the match with 10 players and immense dejection.
Los Esperan as, handed Maanschaft it’s greatest competitive defeat at this level. Producing some outstanding individual talent, but never quite seem to make use of it during the international tournaments has long been Portugal’s shortcoming.
What the Under-21 team displayed against Germany however, was a product of a cohesion, and machine like precision- something their senior team desperately lacks.
Portugal opened the scoring with a gorgeous piece of link-up play from central midfield, culminating in Bernardo Silva getting enough room inside Germany’s box and easing it to the near post past Barcelona’s Ter Stegen.
Los Esperan as followed their fast start with two more goals. Ricardo Pereira slotted in the ball from two yards, while Benfica’s Ivan Cavaleiro, placed the ball straight into Ter-Stegen’s top corner after a beautiful cross from JoA?o MA?rio at the brink of half time.
The second half saw Portugal’s colts begin with similar aplomb, as JoA?o MA?rio launched a thunderous strike, deflecting in to the German goal to put Portugal firmly in the driver’s seat at 4-0.
Though the young German’s tried to launch some offensive, as German coach, Horst Hrubesch tweaked his formation at half-time, introducing Schalke prodigy Max Mayer for Johannes Geis . and returning Emre Can and Kimmich to deeper positions but, 44 seconds after the restart, any plans for a comeback were largely ineffectual as they were already four goals to the good, with Portugal always looking the more lethal of the two. Portugal carried on their dominance, as Malaga FC’s Ricardo Horta, who came on as a substitute,flicked home from close range from JoA?o Canceloa s fizzing cross.
Germany’s heartbreak was not to end there, as they saw substitute Leonardo Bittencourt, sent-off for a second bookable offence at the dying stages of the game.
Portugal shed the memories of their senior team’s defeat to Germany last year in Brazil, affirming that the future of the Seleccao holds more promise than the present. Jorge, himself a member of that ’94 team alongside Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Joao Pinto comprised Portugal’s golden generation of the mid nineties, was full of praise for his young stars,
Ita s a historic moment for Portuguese football and our Under-21 football, We reached the final in 1994, but it was in a different format, so this is an historic moment. Ia m very proud to be the coach of this team and Ia m very proud of my players.a
Though they face a rampant Sweden, whom defeated Denmark 4-1, Portugal have now established themselves as tournament favourites. Performances such as those against Germany, could well see this current crop of Portuguese stars shine at next years EURO championships in France, and possibly beyond.