U21 Euros: semifinal duel between Zerofivers
At least one Zerofiver will be in the final: Öztunali and Müller to face Romania, Aarón and Spain to meet France’s Mateta and Niakhaté
Mainz were the most well-represented Bundesliga club at the U12 Euros in Italy and San Marino, with five players taking part. At the end of the group stage, all five have advanced to the semifinals as well as qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. The semifinals will feature the tournament’s first duel between two Zerofivers—if Germany manage to defeat Romania and advance to the final, then there will definitely be another meeting between teammates before they see each other again at the Bruchweg.
After a scoreless draw between France and Romania on Monday night (where Mateta got the start while Niakhaté is still waiting to make his first appearance at the tournament), the semifinal matchups were set.
Will a Zerofiver take home the title?
As the winners of Group A, Germany will face Group C winners Romania in Bologna on Thursday night (18:00 CEST). Levin Öztunali has made three starts for Germany so far, while backup keeper Florian Müller is still waiting to make an appearance. Three hours later, the other semifinal between France and Spain will kick off in Reggio Emilia. Aarón Martín has played over 90 minutes across two group stage matches at the tournament. The chances are good that Sandro Schwarz will welcome back one or more freshly-crowned title winners to training. What’s certain is that at least one Zerofiver will take part in the final.
Meanwhile at the Africa Cup of Nations, Jean-Philippe Gbamin was on the bench for Ivory Coast’s opening match against South Africa (1-0).