Germany beat Denmark to take a step towards the next round of the U21 European Championships. But the group leaders will need to complete the job against the host nation on Monday evening.
Germany 3-0 Denmark
(Volland 32', 48', Ginter 53')
Germany bounced back from a draw against Serbia on Monday to thrash Denmark 3-0 and move top of Group A at the U21 European Championships.
Team captain Kevin Volland scored twice, either side of the interval, while Borussia Dortmund's Matthias Ginter headed in a third before the hour mark to secure a rampant win.
Germany, winners in 2009, move on to four points at the top of the section following a disappointing performance against the Serbians. Head coach Horst Hrubesch called four new players into his side for the tie in Prague - Dominique Heintz, Nico Schulz, Joshua Kimmich and Leonardo Bittencourt replaced Robin Knoche, Christian Günter, Moritz Leitner and Philipp Hofmann.
Denmark saw the best chance of the first quarter of an hour - Marc-Andre ter Stegen standing up to block the space for RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen who was bearing down on goal. Despite that, Hrubesch's changes were justified with the move to a 4-4-2 formation offering his side complete control.
Back on track
On 26 minutes, quick-footed Amin Younes went for the audacious, curling the ball with the instep towards the far post and just missed out by a few inches. Six minutes later, Germany led when Emre Can's defense-splitting pass on the break found Volland who squeezed his finish under Denmark keeper Jakob Busk.
The goal forced Denmark onto the back foot, surrendering territory to the Germans. In one move, Hrubesch's men passed the ball from ter Stegen in goal, through Kimmich in midfield, then to Volland before Younes' shot was agonizingly close to finding the bottom-corner.
But Germany returned from the break refreshed and quickly shuffled back into fifth gear. Volland's free-kick from 25 yards was an exceptional finish, finding the bottom corner with Busk's positioning questionable.
Five minutes later, Ginter's close-range header increased their advantage, a goal born out of some fantastic wing-play from Younes. The 21-year-old, on loan at Kaiserslautern from Gladbach last season, ran his opposite number from Denmark ragged and was denied a goal on 61 minutes by Busk.
Without Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who was rested, Denmark were toothless and lacked a dominant ball-player in the center of the field as Germany eased to three points.
With a one-point cushion going into the last round of fixtures, Germany will face hosts Czech Republic on June 22. Winless Serbia will play Denmark, but will need a serious swing for them to qualify.
Group A results:
Germany 3-0 Denmark
Serbia 0-4 Czech Republic