14 years after the last triumph of Mario Götze’s team, the German U17s are once again thrilling at a European Championship. In a penalty-drama, the selection secures the title.
For the first time since Mario Götze’s team triumphed in 2009, the German U17 footballers have regained the title of European champion.
Coach Christian Wück’s team beat defending champions France 5-4 (0-0) on penalties in a thrilling final in Budapest. Goalkeeper Max Schmitt from FC Bayern saved a try, Assan Ouedraogo converted the decisive penalty.
Germany had won the only title in this age group so far in 2009, when the selection for the eventual world champions Götze and Shkodran Mustafi triumphed. The German junior teams then lost the U17 final three times, most recently in 2015 with 4-1 against France. This time it was enough for the second title.
Success after dominant tournament
For the youth selection of the German Football Association it was the culmination of an absolutely dominant tournament. The team ended the preliminary round with three wins and 10-1 goals – including a 3-1 win over France. A 3-2 penalty shoot-out against Switzerland in the quarter-finals was followed by an enthusiastic performance against Poland in the semi-finals. With a 5:3 spectacle, Germany made it into the final.
The final started with a moment of shock for Germany: After a mistake by keeper Schmitt, the Wück team was only able to prevent the early deficit with great difficulty. A balanced and competitive game then developed. Substitute Bence Dardai missed the best chance for the youngsters, hitting the crossbar with a free kick (80th minute). So the decision had to be made from the spot. There, Schmitt from Munich and midfielder Ouedraogo from FC Schalke 04 became match winners.
Qualification for World Cup safe
With the successful European Championship, the young German soccer players also qualified for the U17 World Cup, which takes place in November and December of this year.
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