The German U21 national team's quest for the European Championship has ended in catastrophe. Horst Hrubesch's men were thrashed by Portugal 5-0. It was a record defeat for Germany's U21s.
Portugal 5-0 Germany
(Bernardo Silva 25', Ricardo 33', Ivan Cavaleiro 45+1', João Mário 46', Ricardo Horta 71')
There was a place in Tuesday's U21 Euro final at stake when Germany took on Portugal in the Czech city of Olomouc. But you wouldn't have guessed it from the Germans' listless performance.
The Portugese grabbed the majority of possession right from the get-go and took a deserved lead in minute 25. Mönchengladbach's Amin Younes turned over the ball in midfield, and after some deft passing Bernando Silva slammed the ball past German keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
A wake-up call, Germany fans may have hoped, but they were wrong. Eight minutes later, the Germans failed to deal with a corner kick, and Ricardo Pereira converted from close range.
Younes drew a fine save from Portugal keeper Jose Sa just before the interval, but that was all Germany had to offer. And Portugal extended their lead in injury time, when a perfect Joao Mario cross found Ivan Cavaleiro. The teams headed into the dressing rooms with the score 3-0 and the match essentially decided.
Any German hopes of a "miracle of Olomouc" were flattened one minute after the restart, when a deflected Mario shot left ter Stegen helpless.
And ter Stegen, who less than a month ago won the Champions League with Barcelona, suffered the worst defeat of his career as Ricardo Horta completed the scoreline in minute 71. To add insult to injury, second-half subtitute Leonardo Bittencourt was sent off with two yellow cards.
"No matter how badly you play, there's no excuse for losing 5-0," said Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich, who courageously faced the TV cameras after the debacle. "It's inexplicable."
The loss was Germany's heaviest ever in the main round of an U21 competition. Meanwhile Portugal's football future could hardly look brighter.