Germany broke the deadlock with 10 minutes remaining in the first half when Davie Selke powered a header home, but the lead lasted just six minutes before Demarai Gray restored parity.
England then took the lead themselves through Tammy Abraham five minutes into the second half, but Germany responded with Felix Platte's header to force extra time.
There was to be no winner in the added 30 minutes, though, and the game went to penalties where Nathan Redmond saw the crucial spot kick saved as Germany progressed to the final.
Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.
4.30pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for the first semi-final of the 2017 Under-21 European Championships! It sees two nations steeped in football history add a new chapter to their long-running rivalry as England take on Germany in Tychy with a place in the final of the competition on offer. It promises to be an intriguing affair between two teams who have not found things all plain sailing on the way to this stage, but before we get into that let's first check out the team news...
4.36pmWhat can we make of those two teams, then? Well, the big news as far as England are concerned is that Nathan Redmond misses out and, while he has been included amongst the subs, manager Aidy Boothroyd clearly has doubts over his fitness having sustained a suspected hamstring injury against Poland last time out. Tammy Abraham comes back into the starting lineup to replace Redmond in one of two changes made by England, with Will Hughes also coming in for Swift. There is no place for Murphy in the starting lineup despite his goalscoring appearance off the bench against the hosts Poland.
4.38pmAs for Germany, they also make two changes to the side which lost to Italy last time out having previously named the same starting XI for all of their group games. Haberer and Philipp come into the side in place of Dahoud and Weiser, both of whom drop to the bench for this one. That means the likes of Meyer, Arnold and former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry start once again in what is one of the stronger midfields in this competition.
4.40pmGermany came into this tournament as one of the favourites to lift the trophy, but England could make a strong claim that they go into this game as slight favourites to progress to the final now. Germany failed to win their group whereas England overcame a rather slow start to book the only guaranteed semi-final place in Group A. They are one of only two teams still unbeaten in this year's tournament and the other - Spain - were the only team to amass more points in the group stages.
4.42pmEngland also boast the joint-best defence in the competition having conceded just one goal in their three group games, although they are one of three teams to be able to say that and they are all in the semi-finals too. Even so, England have certainly grown into this tournament having begun with a goalless draw against holders Sweden which they were perhaps lucky to come away with a point from after Sweden missed a late penalty. It looked as though Boothroyd's side might be on their way out of the competition at half time against Slovakia too as they trailed 1-0, but a much-improved performance in the second half of that one instead took them to the top of Group A.
4.44pmThe Young Lions knew that victory in their final group game would guarantee their place in the semi-finals, and they never really looked like letting that opportunity slip in their 3-0 win over the host nation last Thursday. England have now only lost two of their last 16 matches across all competitions, winning 11 of those and going their last four without defeat. Their most recent loss did come at the hands of Germany in March, though.
4.46pmGermany were also responsible for England's eventual exit from this competition the last time they made it into the knockout stages. That was back in 2009 when they went all the way to the final, only to be swept aside by a Germany team including the likes of Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Ozil and Khedira. This will be England's ninth semi-final appearance at Under-21 level and they have progressed from just three of the previous eight, going on to lift the trophy on two occasions - the most recent of which came in 1984.
4.48pmThat gives England more pedigree in this competition than even the Germans, which is not something you can say about a lot of major footballing events. Germany's triumph in 2009 with that team full of future stars is actually the only time they have won the trophy, and their record at this level is not as good as you might expect from such a superpower. This is only the third time in the last seven tournaments that they have made it out of the group stages, after that 2009 triumph and the most recent one in 2015.
4.50pmGermany very nearly missed out on a place in the knockout rounds again this year, needing a route via the best-placed runners-up to reach the semi-finals. Defeat to Italy in their most recent outing condemned them to second place due to their inferior head-to-head record against the Italians, despite having a better goal difference. That goal difference did save them in the end, though, beating Slovakia to the best-placed runners-up spot by just a single goal.
4.52pmGermany are another one of the teams to have conceded just once in the tournament so far, but they will know that had they conceded a second in their 1-0 defeat to Italy then they would be on their way home now. Stefan Kuntz's side had been in command of Group C heading into that closing fixture following Italy's surprise loss to Czech Republic, having themselves cruised past the Czechs and Denmark in their opening two games, but the loss to Italy may serve as something of a reality check to the youngsters.
4.54pmGermany are not in particularly great form heading into this match either, with three defeats from their last six games - worse than you might expect from a nation of their footballing calibre. That run is certainly a major dip in form from the 13-match winning streak which preceded it, stretching all the way back to the 2015 semi-finals of this competition. Defeat today would see them fall to back-to-back losses for the first time since June 2013.
4.56pmPREDICTION: Right, we're nearing kickoff time in Tychy, so it is time for a prediction! This one should be a very interesting one as England are in the slightly better form but Germany - even at this age level - know how to get the job done more when it really counts. It really could go either way, but I am going to plump for a 2-1 win for England to continue their promising summer of football.
4.58pmRight, the players are out and the anthems are being sung, so we're almost ready to go for this repeat of the 2009 final! A year ago today England were crashing out of Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, but since then the Under-17s have reached the European Championship final and the Under-20s have won the World Cup. Can the Under-21s add to the shoots of recovery?
1 minKICKOFF: After a false start, Germany get us underway in Tychy! This is a huge match for all these youngsters involved.
3 minGermany want an early penalty here as Selke goes down inside the area after a tangle of legs with Chambers, but the referee only points for a goal kick. Big decision for him to make early on!
4 minCHANCE! Very nearly a chance for England to make a perfect start to this one! First both Gray and Hughes do brilliant to beat a number of defenders down the right flank before the latter cuts inside and pulls the ball back into the middle which is well cleared before Abraham can tap it in. The resulting corner is met by Chalobah, but he can't steer his header on target.
6 minCHANCE! Another England chance from a corner, and this time Chalobah really should score. The midfielder rises relatively unchallenged and gets a firm contact on the ball, but he powers his header over the crossbar. Big, big chance!
8 minCHANCE! It's another huge chance for England, who have started this match really brightly! Hughes slides the ball through to Gray, who has two bites at the cherry but is denied by a fine save from Pollersbeck. Jung dallies over the clearance inside his own six-yard box and gives it away to Hughes, but gets enough on the ball to make a crucial challenge.
10 minThis has been a very positive start from England, who could and perhaps should be one or two goals ahead already. The only negative for Boothroyd's side so far as been they don't have the lead to show for it.
11 minYELLOW CARD! The first card comes out relatively early and it is shown to Hughes for a challenge from behind on Haberer.
12 minSelke almost gets in behind England here, but Chambers recovers well and gets an important challenge in. This has been a very open game so far!
14 minThe playing surface really does not look good at the moment. The turf is digging up and a number of players have already lost their footing - something worth keeping an eye on.
15 minSHOT! The ball is worked inside to Ward-Prowse in midfield and he turns before immediately looking to have a go at goal from around 25 yards. He drills a powerful low strike, but it zips a yard or two past the post.
17 minCHANCE! This should act as a warning shot for England! Arnold produces a superb chipped pass over the top of the defence to find the run of Gnabry, who tries to loop his header over a stranded Pickford. He can't quite get the right contact on it, though, and the ball goes behind for a goal kick.
18 minCHANCE! Germany have been all at sea from set pieces so far, and England once again create a glorious chance via that route. Abraham is left completely unmarked from a corner but plants his header straight at Pollersbeck, who beats it away.
19 minYELLOW CARD! Selke is the latest name in the book as the referee continues to be fairly free with his cards in the early stages of this one.
21 minCHANCE! Chance for Germany this time as they come forward down the right flank before the ball is played inside for Selke by Philipp. The striker gets good contact on his first-time effort from inside the area, but it is saved by Pickford.
23 minWe're halfway through first half now, and so far it has been one of the most open and entertaining games I have seen for a long time. Semi-finals can often be cagey affairs, but this has been anything but.
25 minSHOT! Another shooting opportunity for Germany as Toljan finds himself in space striding forward from right-back. He is afforded the room to shoot, but blazes his effort off target.
27 minCHANCE! There is a chance almost every time a team comes forward at the moment. This time it is England who fail to deal with a corner as the ball goes all the way through to Haberer at the back post, but Hughes does just enough to prevent him from nodding home.
29 minGray does really well to reach a diagonal ball forward and take it down into his path, but his low pass into the box is cleared away. England's threat has just waned a little in the last 10 minutes or so, whereas Germany have really grown into the game.
31 minGermany have seen 54% of the ball in the opening half an hour here, but after 15 minutes it was 60-40 in England's favour - an example of how Germany have begun to gain a degree of control over this match.
32 minSAVE! More good football from Germany results in Toljan being able to cut inside and get a shot away which deflects off Hughes. Pickford needs to be alert to respond to that deflection, pushing it behind for a corner.
33 minCHANCE! Another big chance for Germany, but it is a really poor finish from Philipp. Again they find space down the right channel and Philipp cuts inside to create a clear shooting chance. He should at least hit the target having done the hard work, but he can only fire it high and wide of the target.
35 minGOAL! England U21s 0-1 Germany U21s (Davie Selke)
35 minFirst blood goes to Germany in this semi-final, and it is no surprise that it comes down the right flank. Toljan bursts forward and is found by Philipp pass before clipping a good cross into the middle. Selke finds himself completely unmarked and powers a clinical diving header into the top corner, leaving Pickford no chance. England could perhaps look at their defending, but that goal has been coming.
37 minSHOT! Germany pour forward looking for a quickfire second, with Selke reaching the byline and pulling the ball back for Gnabry. His effort is blocked, but the ball bounces back out to Meyer, who floats an effort over the top.
39 minEngland started this match very brightly, but they are comfortably second best right now. They are playing through England's midfield and defence far too easily at the moment and Boothroyd's side will be glad to get into half time still only one behind if this carries on.
41 minGOAL! England U21s 1-1 Germany U21s (Demarai Gray)
41 minWhat do I know, hey? Completely against the run of play, England are level against Germany! Just as Germany's was no surprise coming down the right it is also no surprise to see this one stem from a corner. Chambers meets the delivery this time and has two bites at the cherry, both of which are blocked. The second one drops into the path of Gray, though, who keeps his composure to sidefoot a first-time volley home from close range.
43 minCHANCE! Nearly two in two minutes for Gray! Hughes puts a ball over the defence and Gray finds himself in on goal, but his touch on the chest is just too heavy and the ball runs through to the keeper.
44 minEngland want a penalty as they continue their positive end to the half, but once again the ref says no. Abraham is trying to get on the end of a cross into the box only to be blocked off by Arnold, but the officials see nothing wrong with it.
45+1 minThere will be a minimum of one minute added time at the end of this first half.
45+1 minHALF TIME: England Under-21s 1-1 Germany Under-21s
5.56pmThe referee brings an end to the first half, and what an entertaining first half it was. England and Germany find themselves all square in this semi-final following an opening 45 minutes which has seen bagfuls of chances and a couple of goals to boot. Both sides have played really good attacking football, with England starting on top and then Germany taking control of the game as the half wore on. More of the same in the coming 45 minutes, please!
5.58pmEngland could well have taken the lead early on as they created lots of chances in the opening exchanges, but Germany took the lead with 10 minutes remaining of the half when Selke planted a powerful header into the top corner. It unsurprisingly came down the right flank, where Germany have really troubled England, and Selke made no mistake having been left unmarked in the middle.
6pmThe goal was very much deserved when it came, but England responded well and levelled things up just six minutes later when Gray fired home a volley from close range. Germany have really struggled from set pieces and sure enough it was a corner which provided the equaliser for England, with Chambers seeing two efforts blocked before Gray added the finishing touch.
6.02pmEngland will feel that they are worthy of going into the break all square having started the game so brightly and ended the half on top too, but they will also be wary of Germany's quality. Midway through the half Germany looked dangerous every time they came forward, playing through the England defence and midfield far too easily. We are in for a very intriguing second half.
46 minKICKOFF: England get us back underway for the second half of this thrilling semi-final.
47 minSAVE! Pickford is called into action within a minute of the restart as Meyer works space to shoot and sees his effort deflect off Holgate and into the arms of the new Everton keeper.
49 minGray has looked really dangerous on the ball today. He attacks down the left and cuts inside on his way past three Germany players before his eventual shot deflects behind for a corner. The resulting set piece is well punched clear by the keeper, who must have been advised to do that more often.
50 minGOAL! England U21s 2-1 Germany U21s (Tammy Abraham)
50 minEngland take the lead! Goals either side of half time have turned this game on its head as Abraham puts England on course for the final! It is poor from Gnabry as his gives the ball away deep inside his own half, allowing Hughes to collect it. He shows good composure to dribble to the byline before playing a low pass into the middle which Abraham applies the finish touch to.
52 minImportant challenge from Chambers as he stops Gnabry in his path when anything other than a well-timed tackle could have seen the Bayern man race through on goal.
54 minEngland are looking a lot more compact now, with Boothroyd having made a tactical tweak at half time. It is no longer so easy for Germany to play through the midfield.
56 minGermany win a corner and Selke darts to the front post before flicking the ball on. It looks like it could cause problems, but it hits an England defender and they are able to hack it clear.
58 minCHANCE! Germany should be level again here! A cross from the left is flicked on to the back post, where Toljan is waiting. It looks like a tap-in having lost Gray, but he miscues his finish and puts it wide when he really should have done better.
59 minYELLOW CARD! Chilwell goes into the referee's notebook for a cynical trip on Philipp.
61 minIt has been pretty much constant pressure on the England since defence since their second goal, with Germany having reacted really well to going behind. They have less than half an hour to get that equalising goal now, though.
63 minGERMANY SUB: Bad news for Germany here as Selke limps off with a injury, being replaced by Felix Platte.
65 minConcern for England here as Chalobah goes down and requires treatment. He was a doubt heading into this match and it looks like he is feeling his groin injury again right now.
66 minENGLAND SUB: Sure enough, Chalobah is unable to continue and Jacob Murphy comes on in his place.
68 minCrucial challenge from Gray as he tracks Toljan back into the box and gets a touch on the ball as the full-back tried to cut inside. Graty was once again momentarily caught out defensively there, but he recovered very well.
70 minSHOT! Heberer is allowed space to come forward within shooting range and have a go for goal, but his effort deflects wide of the target.
70 minGOAL! England U21s 2-2 Germany U21s (Felix Platte)
70 minGermany are back level, and it is another set piece which does the damage. Germany have tried this near-post run a couple of times already, and this time Platte gets in front of Holgate before powering a bullet header in off the crossbar, once again leaving Pickford helpless.
72 minA huge 20 minutes or so awaits these young players now, then. One of these teams will suffer heartbreak at the end of a hugely entertaining game, but as things stand we are heading for extra time.
73 minCHANCE! Another big chance for Germany to take the lead as some good football leads to Philipp finding himself in a very good shooting position, only to drag his shot wide of the target.
74 minCHANCES! England are under the cosh a bit here, but they don't help themselves by trying to play out from the back under huge pressure. Germany win the ball back high up the field and eventually work the ball over to an unmarked Gnabry inside the area, but his hesitation allows Pickford to come out and thwart him. Moments later Philipp hammers a powerful strike towards goal which Pickford has to beat away.
76 minAs we head into the final 15 minutes it is Germany who look very much like the most likely to go on and win this one. That was the case at times in the second half too, though, and England survived that well enough.
77 minSHOT! Arnold is the latest player to go for goal, but he skews his long-range effort wide of the target.
78 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Germany think they have taken the lead as Platte plants another header into the bottom corner, but his celebrations are cut short by the linesman's flag. The replays show that it was a very tight one that really could have gone either way.
80 minGERMANY SUB: Germany make another change as Thilo Kehrer replaces Jung.
81 minYELLOW CARD! Gnabry is the latest name in the book for a cynical tug on Murphy.
83 minCLOSE! England drop off Gnabry and allow him the space to shoot from range, but he curls the shot a couple of yards past the post.
83 minYELLOW CARD! Holgate is shown a yellow for catching Gerhardt with his arm when going up for a header.
85 minSHOT! Bright play from Redmond as he collects the ball on the left before cutting inside and drilling an effort towards goal, but it zips a yard or so past the post.
86 minENGLAND SUB: Third and final change from England as Hughes is replaced by John Swift.
88 minGERMANY SUB: Germany respond with their final change too as Nadiem Amiri comes on for Gnabry.
90 minThere will be FIVE added minutes at the end of the 90! Plenty of time for either side to avoid extra time!
90+1 minArnold swings a corner into the middle and Kempf is unmarked, only to put his header wide. The referee blows for a foul, though, so it wouldn't have counted anyway.
90+2 minCHANCE! England are hanging on for dear life at the moment! Again Platte is left unmarked in the middle, but this time he doesn't connect perfectly with his header and it is blocked before it can trouble Pickford.
90+4 minIt is all Germany right now as they go into the dying stages of normal time.
90+5 minEND OF 90 MINUTES: England Under-21s 2-2 Germany Under-21s
6.58pmWe're going to extra time in Tychy, then! It has been a thrilling game, but Germany will feel that they dominated enough to have wrapped it up in normal time. England have had plenty of chances themselves, but they will be the happier team to have reached half time. All to play for in the coming 30 minutes!
91 min ETKICKOFF: Germany get extra time underway!
91 min ETCLOSE! Another quick start from Germany, who almost take the lead in the opening seconds. Toljan whips a cross across the face of goal and Pickford can only palm it against Amiri, but it loops up fortuitously for Pickford to collect. That could just as easily have bounced in.
93 min ETEngland need to find a way to change the way this match is going. Germany come forward again down the left with some lovely football that sees Amiri reach the byline, but he flashes the ball right across the face of goal.
95 min ETSAVE! This time Amiri picks the ball up in a more central area and drills a strike towards goal, but it is straight at Pickford, who makes a comfortable save.
97 min ETGermany have been utterly dominant ever since England took the lead at the start of the second half, and England are playing a very dangerous game if their plan is to hang on for penalties. It is one-way traffic.
99 min ETGermany have now had 66% of the ball in this match, and the territory has been similarly one-sided. Amiri goes down the left again before putting a low ball into the box which is cleared behind for a corner.
101 min ETA reminder that teams are allowed a fourth sub in extra time nowadays, and it looks like Germany could be about to make theirs.
102 min ETGERMANY SUB: Sure enough, there is the fourth change as Haberer is replaced by Dominik Kohr.
104 min ETAlmost another chance for Germany as Toljan gets the better of Chilwell down the right before playing the ball back for Philipp, who snatches at the shot and fires it a long way over.
105+1 min ETSAVE! Pickford is called into action again as the ball breaks to Arnold following a corner, but his drilled strike is kept out by Pickford.
105+1 min ETCHANCE! A very rare chance for England on the break as the ball is nodded down to Baker, but he slices his effort well off target when he should have done better. That is a tired finish.
105+1 min ETHALF TIME IN EXTRA TIME: England Under-21s 2-2 Germany Under-21s
105+1 min ETSomehow England are still in this one, but they are looking very tired. They are nearing penalties now, though!
106 min ETKICKOFF: England get us back underway for the second period of extra time, and they have made a change with Dominic Iorfa coming on for Holgate.
106 min ETCHANCE! Iorfa makes an immediate impact with a rampaging run down the right before putting a cross into the middle which Swift can only nod wide.
108 min ETYELLOW CARD! Kempf is the latest player in the book for a handball on the ground.
108 min ETCHANCE! England once again create a chance from a set piece as the keeper comes out to try to claim Ward-Prowse's free kick from deep. He gets it all wrong, but Chambers is under pressure and can't direct his header into the empty net.
110 min ETThis has been better from England so far in the second period of extra time. It is not quite one-way traffic anyone, with England offering more going forward than they have done for quite a while.
112 min ETYELLOW CARD! Arnold is shown a yellow by the referee for a tired foul in midfield.
114 min ETCHANCE! Oh my word, how have England survived this?! Toljan, who has been brilliant today, beats Chilwell down the right before putting the ball on a plate for Amiri, but somehow he doesn't convert at the back post with the goal gaping. He missed the ball completely!
116 min ETMoments like that perhaps make you think that this could be England's day after all. They have ridden the luck big time tonight, but they remain very much in this game.
118 min ETTwo minutes of extra time remaining, and Germany have a free kick in a very dangerous position...
119 min ETAmiri is the man to take it on, but he fires his free kick straight into the wall.
120 min ETFULL TIME: England Under-21s 2-2 Germany Under 21s
7.36pmPenalties it is in Tychy, then! England have been on the back foot for the majority of this game, but they have hung out for the penalty shootout! There is something about these England vs. Germany fixtures!
ENG *0-1 GERARNOLD SCORES! No mistake from the German skipper as he just drills his penalty down the middle.
ENG 1-1* GERBAKER SCORES! Cool start from Baker as he sends the keeper the wrong way and tucks his spot kick into the bottom corner.
ENG *1-1 GERGERHARDT MISSES! Germany slip up first as Pickford pulls off a fine save down low to his right!
ENG 1-1* GERABRAHAM MISSES! We're back level pegging as Abraham sees his spot kick saved by Pollersbeck!
ENG *1-2 GERPHILIPP SCORES! Brilliant penalty from Philipp as he places it into the top corner.
ENG 2-2* GERCHILWELL SCORES! Chilwell is cool too, placing his spot kick into the bottom corner. Very accurate from the full-back.
ENG *2-3 GERMEYER SCORES! Meyer also sends Pickford the wrong way to give Germany the advantage again.
ENG 3-3* GERWARD-PROWSE SCORES! Phwoar! Great penalty from Ward-Prowse into the top corner to restore parity!
ENG *3-4 GERAMIRI SCORES! Pickford guesses the right way, but there is enough power on it to tuck it into the bottom corner.
ENG 3-4 GERREDMOND MISSES! All the pressure is on Redmond, but he sees his penalty saved by the keeper!
7.46pmFULL TIME: England Under-21s 2-2 Germany Under-21s (Germany win 4-3 on penalties)
7.46pmGERMANY QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL OF UNDER-21 EURO 2017!
7.53pmIt is heartbreak for England, then, as they crash out to Germany on penalties in the semi-final... where have we heard that before? It was 2-2 after extra time, but missed penalties from Abraham and Redmond proved costly as Germany progress to the final
7.55pmThat is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for this game as Germany reach the final of Under-21s Euro 2017 with a penalty shootout win over England. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to head over to our coverage of the second semi-final between Italy and Spain shortly. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!