Euro U21s Review: Germany thrash Serbia, Denmark down Austria
Luca Waldschmidt's hat-trick saw Germany thrash Serbia 6-1 to take full control of Group B in the European Under-21 Championship, while Denmark got their first points by defeating Austria.
Marco Richter scored twice as Germany started their campaign with victory over Denmark and he was on target again with the opener in Trieste on Thursday.
Levin Oztunali slipped a perfect throughball into Richter's path and he beat the offside flag to dink a super finish over onrushing goalkeeper Boris Radunovic.
More incisive Germany passing opened Serbia up again on the half-hour, Richter unselfishly squaring the ball for Waldschmidt to tuck home a simple finish.
Germany continued to dominate and it was 3-0 before the break, Waldschmidt driving on a thrilling run at Serbia's defence before rifling in his second.
The holders eased up somewhat after the interval but added a fourth when Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud lashed home a swerving drive.
Freiburg forward Waldschmidt claimed the match ball with another powerful finish before Serbia struck a late consolation thanks to a Andrija Zivkovic penalty, only for Arne Maier to score a stunning sixth for Germany in added time.
Earlier in the day, Denmark boosted their hopes of qualifying for the next round with a 3-1 defeat of Austria.
After Robert Skov hit the post, Denmark took the lead in stunning fashion when Joakim Maehle embarked on a wonderful solo run before beating goalkeeper Alexander Schlager with a fine dinked finish.
Within two minutes of the interval Austria were back on level terms, however, as captain Philipp Lienhart got in front of his marker at the near post to head home a whipped corner.
Denmark struck the woodwork again when Skov's cross was thudded against the crossbar by Jonas Wind, while Austria spurned a golden chance to move in front as Christoph Baumgartner's penalty was brilliantly saved by Daniel Iversen, low to the goalkeeper's right.
Having survived that scare, Denmark retook the lead in the 77th minute when Andreas Olsen whipped an excellent right-wing cross into the box and Maehle timed his run perfectly to guide home an excellent finish.
Olsen curled home Denmark's third in added time to ensure they bounced back from a 3-1 opening defeat to Germany.