Germany under-21s book Euro 2017 final spot with win over Russia

Germany under-21s book Euro 2017 final spot with win over Russia

The Germans will be playing their part in less than a year's time.

Jonathan Walsh

Stefan Kuntz has successfully guided Germany's under-21 side to next summer's UEFA European under-21 Championship in Poland.

Kuntz, who took over from Horst Hrubesch after the Olympics, has won all three games since he became head coach.

The team will now look forward to their third straight appearance in the competition's final stage.

Perfect run through qualifying

Germany knew Hrubesch was stepping down after this summer's games in Rio, but he left having taken the team to seven wins from their first seven games.

They had the best defence and attack in Group 7 when the German legend departed, but Kuntz has managed to maintain that in his two competitive matches to date.

With the likes of Maximilian Arnold, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané and Davie Selke in the squad, it is little surprise that they have a 100% record.

Rivals finish things off

However neighbours, Austria will be hoping to bring that to an end on Tuesday as the battle for bragging rights continues.

The Austrians had already secured a play-off spot, like Germany, but had to hope that Kuntz's side slipped up against Russia in order to overtake them.

Despite the best efforts to let slip a two-goal lead on three occasions, they held on to pip the Russians 4-3 and rendered the 'derby' game as a dead rubber.

There will be no need for introductions for players on either, with Dominik Wydra, Florian Grillitsch, Michael Gregoritsch and Alessandro Schöpf all playing in Germany.

Strong field expected next summer

Alongside Germany and hosts Poland, five other teams have already secured their place in the finals.

England, Slovakia, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Denmark are all assured of a berth in Poland and can now plan ahead for the showpiece event.

The most interesting shoot-outs take place on the final matchday, as only a point separates the top three nations in Group 3 and Group 7.