Philipp Hofmann's late header earned Germany a share of the spoils in Podgorica
Philipp Hofmann's late header earned Germany a share of the spoils in Podgorica

Hofmann secures U-21s late draw in Montenegro

Podgorica - Germany's U-21s remain well on course for the 2015 European Championship finals after earning a late point away to Montenegro.

Much-changed Germany side

An 87th minute header from Philipp Hofmann secured the young DFB select a 1-1 draw in the Montenegrin capital to take them up to 15 points from five games in qualifying Group 6, still six clear of their second-place hosts, who have a game in hand. Next up for Germany is a meeting with fourth-place Romania on Tuesday. The top two sides in the group go through to the play-offs to determine which seven teams join host nation the Czech Republic in the finals.

Starting with only three of the side who scraped a 3-2 win against the Faroe Islands last month, Germany carved out a couple of decent early chances which came to nought for Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Amin Younes and Hofmann. A great save from Younes' fellow Foal Marc-Andre ter Stegen to an effort from Luka Djordjevic then kept the visitors on level terms on 20 minutes while Hofmann - currently on loan at FC Ingolstadt from Schalke 04 - had the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Leonardo Bittencourt, fresh off the bench, passed up a great chance to put Germany in front having rounded home custodian Danijel Petkovic shortly after the restart and he was was made to rue that miss two minutes later when Stefan Mugosa fired Montenegro in front from the spot after Danny da Costa had fouled Darko Zoric inside the box.

Late drama

Germany upped the pressure in search of the leveller and Bittencourt was foiled twice by Petkovic and once by the post before Hofmann connected with Moritz Leitner's free kick to save the day. That came minutes after Aleksandar Boljevic had seen red for a reckless foul on Younes and, having hauled the visitors level, Hofmann almost turned matchwinner with another header that rattled the bar in added time.