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Germany came from behind to beat Spain in a thrilling penalty shoot-out in the final of the Women’s Under-17 European Championship at Chesterfield FC’s Proact Stadium.
The final soon burst into life as Spain’s Patricia Guijarro capitalised on a loose ball on the edge of the German box, the UD Collerense midfielder made room for a half volley which nestled in back of the net to break the deadlock on 8 minutes.
Spain’s passing style was reminiscent of that of the senior side and the 2011 winners came close to doubling their lead before the break. A threatening cross from the left was flicked on by forward Nahikari Garcia but Mireya García Boacould not find the target with her effort.
The dominance of Jorge Vilda’s side continued after the break and García was unlucky not to convert García Boa’s cross after the latters impressive run down the right hand side.
Germany were fortunate to stay in the game as Spain could not capitalise on their much superior possession.
Against the run of play, Anouschka Bernhard’s side drew level with only 5 minutes to play. A low cross from the right by winger Nina Ehegötz found its way through to the unmarked Isabella Hartig, for the substitute to tap in at the back post.
Neither side could find a late winner and the game went straight to penalties, with no extra time played.
After both teams scored and had a penalty saved, Germany’s Laura Widakgave her side the advantage and Hartig sent the keeper the wrong way to put the game beyond doubt.
Germany’s win seals their qualification for the 2014 Women’s Under-17 World Cup to be held in Costa Rica.
Spain and Italy will join the newly crowned European Champions after the Azuri beat England on penalties in the third place match.
England were narrowly defeated by the Italians in Burton, losing 4-3 on penalties, after neither side could break the deadlock in normal time.
The Proact will next host the visit of John Sheridan’s Plymouth Argyle as Chesterfield look to rekindle their league form after their defeat last week at Newport County.