Luca Waldschmidt and Nadiem Amiri both scored late to fire defending champions Germany into the final of the European under-21 championships on Thursday where they will meet Spain in a repeat of the title showdown two years ago.
Germany battled past Romania 4-2 with two late goals in Bologna, as Spain also came back to beat France 4-1 in Reggio Emilia to reach the final for the fourth time in five years.
Freiburg forward Waldschmidt’s strikes took his tally to a record-equalling seven goals in the tournament and mean he has scored in all four games played by the defending champions.
“When you come from behind in a semi-final against such a good side it gives you confidence,” said Waldschmidt, who can set a new record if he scores in the final in Udine on Sunday.
The striker drew the Germans level at two each from the spot on 51 minutes before putting them in front as the game crept into added time, while Amiri rounded off the scoring in the 94th minute after having opened with 21 minutes gone in sweltering conditions at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
Despite a spirited attack by the Romanians, who made up the majority of fans among the 16,200 crowd, their unprecedented run ends at the final four.
“We finished in the last four and are going to the Olympics, we can only be proud for how far this team has come and for the whole of Romanian football,” said coach Mirel Radoi.
George Puscas had given his side a 2-1 half-time lead with two goals of his own – the first a penalty after 26 minutes and a powerful header just before the break.
Germany will bid for a third continental title against four-time winners Spain who also came from behind against France, on a day when temperatures hit over 38 degrees Celsius
Spain proved too strong for France who paid for errors despite Jean-Philippe Mateta had put them ahead with a 16th-minute penalty.
Marc Roca equalised on 27 minutes, with Mikel Oyarzabal adding a penalty before the break with Dani Olmo (47) and Borja Mayoral (67) finishing off the job.
Spain last lifted the trophy in 2013, and are bidding to match Italy’s record five titles.