U21 ROUND-UP: Title holders Spain get off to a winning start against Slovenia

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Under-21 European Championship titleholders Spain get off to a winning start against Slovenia, as Germany sails past Hungary and Italy and the Netherlands are both held on the tournament’s opening night.

  • Groups A & B started on Wednesday in the European Championship U21
  • Title holders Spain made a winning start to their campaign by beating Slovenia
  • Germany – which lost to Spain in the last two summers – defeated Hungary 3-0
  • The Dutch moved to Romania after returning to U21 Euros for the first time since 2013
  • Italy drew a draw with the Czech Republic after a disappointing own goal

The European Under-21 Championship kicked off on Wednesday-evening with both Spain and Germany victorious in their first group matches of the competition.

Defending champions Spain got off to a winning start to their campaign by beating fellow hosts Slovenia – who had never qualified for a Euro U21 before.

Javier Puado opened the scoring for La Rojita in the 53rd minute, before Gonzalo added Villar to their count just a minute later. Juan Miranda then closed the game by scoring a third late.

Title holders Spain made a winning start to their campaign by beating fellow hosts Slovenia

Title holders Spain made a winning start to their campaign by beating fellow hosts Slovenia

Germany – which lost 2-1 to Spain in the final in Udine two summers ago – comfortably beat Hungary 3-0 thanks to goals from Lukas Nmecha and Bote Baku (2).

Nmecha gave Germany their first goal just after the hour after they turned towards Baku’s cross, before that Baku gave up David Raum’s delivery and completed the rebound from Mergim Berisha’s shot.

Germany comfortably beat Hungary 3-0 thanks to goals from Lukas Nmecha and Bote Baku

Germany comfortably beat Hungary 3-0 thanks to goals from Lukas Nmecha and Bote Baku

Germany comfortably beat Hungary 3-0 thanks to goals from Lukas Nmecha and Bote Baku

Perr Schuurs gave the Netherlands the advantage, but they gave it away and played a 1-1 draw

Perr Schuurs gave the Netherlands the advantage, but they gave it away and played a 1-1 draw

Perr Schuurs gave the Netherlands the advantage, but they gave it away and played a 1-1 draw

German manager Stefan Kuntz will be delighted with his side’s performance after scoring three goals in 13 minutes against the co-hosts.

Holland manager, Erwin van de Looi, will be less impressed with his squad’s performance – having drawn 1-1 with Romania for the first time since 2013 after returning to a Euro U21.

Perr Schuurs gave the Dutch side the lead with a nice header, but that was not enough to hold off Romania and secure the victory.

Andrei Ciobanu reacted to Schuurs’ effort and leveled the score almost immediately afterwards with a free kick from the edge of the penalty area.

Giulio Maggiore's own goal (above) saw Italy draw 1-1 against the Czech Republic on Wednesday

Giulio Maggiore's own goal (above) saw Italy draw 1-1 against the Czech Republic on Wednesday

Giulio Maggiore’s own goal (above) saw Italy draw 1-1 against the Czech Republic on Wednesday

Italy faced a similar fate as the Netherlands when it confronted the Czech Republic.

The Italian side took the lead in the first half thanks to the stylish finish of Gianluca Scamacca, but threw away the advantage by conceding an own goal.

Giulio Maggiore’s mistake was followed by late red cards for Sandro Tonali and Riccardo Marchizza.

Groups C and D will start their campaign on Thursday, with England facing Switzerland in their opening match of the competition.

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