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Germany captures U-21 title

TWO goals by Sandro Wagner and a stellar performance from Mesut Ozil inspired Germany to a 4-0 win over England in the Euro Under-21 championship final in Malmo, Sweden, on Monday.

England began strongly but the Germans grabbed the opening goal in the 23rd minute when Ozil provided Gonzalo Castro with a delicate pass and he chipped the ball above replacement keeper Scott Loach.

The highly promising Ozil made it 2-0 three minutes into the second half with a stunning free-kick from over 30 yards.

England, coming off a thrilling shootout win over Sweden in the semis, had several chances to reduce the deficit, Lee Cattermole nearly finding the target with a fine long shot which hit the crossbar in the 58th minute.

Winger Adam Johnson ran on to a ball by James Milner and almost flicked the ball into the net with his heel but defender Andreas Beck stopped it on the goal line.

Wagner missed an open goal after he failed to get full contact on another fine ball from Ozil in the 79th minute, but he soon made up for his mistake by shooting through keeper Scott Loach's legs.

Four minutes later he curled the ball past Loach for his second goal of the night.

England was without strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor and Fraizer Campbell and keeper Joe Hart, who were all suspended.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer did not have to make a save throughout the one-sided final.

England coach Stuart Pearce, who revealed he has signed a new two year-deal to lead the team until the next Under-21 championship, said he would take his time to analyze the team's failings.

"It is down to me sit back and let the dust settle on this tournament and work out how to improve at this level," said Pearce.

"Hats off to the Germans, they beat us 4-0. You have to be humble but it still hurts me."


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