2009 winners Germany will need to improve quickly if they want to replicate that success in the Czech Republic. Emre Can's equalizer bagged a point against a dangerous Serbia side.
Germany 1-1 Serbia
(Can 17' - Djuricic 7')
Ten-man Germany was held to a 1-1 draw in Prague by Serbia to open their respective U21 European Championship campaigns.
Emre Can cancelled out Filip Djuricic's opener in the first half to share the spoils while Freiburg's Christian Günter was sent off card on 69 minutes for a second bookable offence. Günter will miss Germany's next match against Denmark on Saturday.
Horst Hrubesch picked his tried-and-trusted core from qualification, but decided to hand the number one shirt to Marc-Andre ter Stegen ahead of Bernd Leno or Timo Horn.
The Barcelona keeper had to pick the ball out of the net after seven minutes when former Mainz attacker Djuricic waltzed past Robin Knoche and finished from 12 yards.
Germany were pensive about forming a strong response, until Liverpool midfielder Can took the game by the scruff of the neck on 17 minutes. Can - a former Bayern and Leverkusen player - controlled the ball on the edge of the box, side-stepped his opponent and arrowed his right-foot shot into the corner.
Ends all square
Borussia Dortmund's Milos Jojic had freshness about his play, an extra yard over his opponents, which seemed to be a sign that he was trying to prove something to the new boss Thomas Tuchel. Jojic played 500 minutes of league football this season despite starting his career in Germany reasonably well.
The box-to-box midfielder showed a terrific engine to beat Robin Knoche on the wing with his speed, but Jojic couldn't sort out his feet to get the left-foot shot on target. Around 10 minutes later, Serbian team-mate, Goran Causic, caused panic in the Germany ranks when his 40-yard thunderbolt smashed against the crossbar with the help of Ter Stegen's finger tips.
Hrubesch tinkered with his setup for the second half with Moritz Leitner being replaced by Joshua Kimmich who is bound for Bayern Munich this summer. Nevertheless, Germany's problems remained in attack with poor decision-making prematurely ending any forward move.
Leonardo Bittencourt injected some spark for the Germans when he came off the bench with ten minutes to play. Late on, he sprinted down the wing, drew the ball back for Kevin Volland who couldn't manage to direct the finish goalwards as the match petered out to a tame conclusion.
Earlier in the day, hosts Czech Republic went down to Denmark 2-1 despite taking the lead through Pavel Kaderabek who confirmed his move to Hoffenheim yesterday.