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UEFA Under-17 Championship: Germany crowned champions following penalty shootout drama

[Credit: Ben Mcshane / Sportsfile]

Germany 0 – 0 France (Penalties: 5 – 4)

Thanks to penalty heroics from Max Schmitt and Forzan Assan Ouédraogo, Germany were crowned under-17 European champions by beating current holders France.

Despite being 0-0 after 90 minutes the game wasn’t short of entertainment and that continued into the shootout.

Germany had to come from behind and Ouédraogo scored the winning penalty with composure to conclude a fantastic game.

Last year’s champions secured their spot in the final by coming back from a goal down against Spain, scoring three goals in the last 20 minutes.

Germany also enjoyed a dramatic semi-final as they went back and forth with Poland in an eight-goal thriller, eventually winning 5-3.

What Happened?

France came out flying and pressured Germany into an early mistake leading to the ball being fizzed into the box and deflected onto the woodwork.

After seven minutes, some great footwork by Charles Herrmann allowed him to cut inside onto his left foot but he curled his effort high and wide of the far post.

Mathis Lambourde had a chance to drive at the German defence in the 23rd minute and got past his man but the shot was directed off target.

Four minutes before the interval, Paris Brunner found some space on the near side taking the shot on with his right foot but skewing his effort over the bar.

France had a big chance early in the second half. Following some confusion between the forwards, the ball fell to Mohamid-Amine Bouchenna who took the shot at a tight angle, but he dragged the effort beyond the far post.

Finn Jeltsch prevented what was sure to be a certain goal with a great sliding challenge to deny Lambourde just before the hour mark as the game began to open up.

Ten minutes later, France hit their opponents on the counter led by Saïmon Bouabré who found Yanis Ali Issoufou on the left, but the shot was dealt with by Schmitt.

Moments later Tidiam Gomis drilled a low ball across the face of goal, but no one managed to connect as France continued to ask questions.

Noah Darvich was inches away from putting Germany ahead on the 80th minute as he lifted his free kick up and over the wall, striking the crossbar and keeping the score level.

With penalties looming, Gomis sized up his defender and headed for the touchline, firing his shot goalward however Schmitt palmed the shot over the bar.

Schmitt denied Lambourde of the winner in stoppage time by saving the Frenchman’s powerful volley.

Up the other end it was Fodé Sylla who prevented an injury time winner with a huge tackle in a breathless end to the game as it headed to penalties.

France took the lead in the shootout with Joachim Kayi Sanda scoring the first penalty, but German captain Darvich had his saved by Paul Argney.

After some excellent penalties, the shoutout reached 4-3 and Sylla was denied by Schmitt which allowed the Germans back into it.

Brunner buried his spot kick to tie it up to 4-4, Bouabré stepped up and struck the outside of the post giving Germany the advantage.

With the trophy on the line, Ouédraogo scored the winning penalty to crown Germany the U17 European Champions for the second time.

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