Dreamt, fought, hoped, won: The Germany U17s woman’s team became European Champions for the seventh time after beating the Netherlands on penalties and gave Ulrike Ballweg the perfect send off.
“We have fulfilled our dreams of becoming European champions here,” said a very happy head coach after the game. “There is no better way to say goodbye. I was able to end my job as assistant head coach of the national women’s team at the Maracana at the Olympics with a victory and now here with the European Championship: It’s fantastic!”
The Germany U17s won the tournament on penalties (3-2) (1-1 AET) against the Netherlands to win their seventh title. Sophie Weidauer (19’) from Turbine Potsdam put Germany in the lead, before two minutes later, Dutchwoman Nikita Tromp equalized (21’). In a nervous penalty shootout, Köln’s goalkeeper Pauline Nelles saved four penalties with Hoffenheim’s Mieke Schiemann scoring the winning penalty.
It was the fourth time in a row that Germany had reached the European Championship final having beaten Portugal 2-0 on Tuesday. “Even though we made it difficult for ourselves today, it couldn’t have been more exciting. We deserved it in the end as we had the clearer chances to score and could have won the game before the penalties,” said Ballweg.
Just like in the past four finals, it did not take long for Germany to take the lead. In the eighth minute, Germany’s Nicole Woldmann had the first chance of the game and had a shot on goal. Meanwhile, Pauline Nelles had the first chance for the Netherlands. In the following phase of the game, Germany upped their tempo, pressed high up the field and forced the opponents into mistakes. In the 19th minute, Germany took a deserved lead through Weidauer, who scored her fourth goal of the tournament. However, the celebrations were short-lived as the Netherlands equalized just two minutes later as Tromp fired home from long-range. Neither team could find a winner as the game went through extra-time, before it was decided on penalties.