A change of age regulations meant the UEFA European Under-16 Championship became the U17s in 2001/02, but the 16-team format was unchanged. However, there was more novelty, as Switzerland took their first UEFA title.
The opener between hosts Denmark and the Netherlands was a cracker. Collins John gave the Dutch the lead late in the first half, but Denmark equalised and early in the second period were 3-1 up. But the Netherlands rallied and led with four minutes left, only for Kasper Lorentzen to claim an added-time equaliser. The other Group A opener saw England defeat Finland 3-2, and two days later they saw off the Dutch 2-0 to qualify as Denmark put six past Finland without reply - the last five goals all from Morten Rasmussen in the final 20 minutes. Denmark then held England 0-0 to progress despite the Netherlands' 6-1 win against Finland, which included a John hat-trick.
There were even more goals in Group C, starting with Yugoslavia's 6-3 defeat of Moldova, Simon Vukevic claiming three. Spain beat the Czech Republic 4-1 then Moldova 4-2, as Yugoslavia overcame the Czechs 3-1. The top two were now through, but Spain clinched first place in style with a 5-1 win against Yugoslavia. The Czechs overcame Moldova 3-2, taking the group goal tally to 35. Spain's Jonathan Soriano would finish as the tournament's top scorer with seven goals.
Switzerland matched Spain's perfect record in Group B. With Phillipe Senderos in defence they defeated Ukraine (3-1), Portugal (1-0) and France (2-1), who joined them in the quarter-finals after defeating Portugal 2-0 and drawing 0-0 against Ukraine. In Group D, Georgia and Germany drew their opener 1-1 while Poland beat Hungary 3-1. Georgia also finished 1-1 against Poland as Germany defeated Hungary 6-2, Sebastian Westerhoff scoring a hat-trick. Germany then wrapped up first place with the only goal against Poland, who missed out on a place in the last eight to Georgia who came from behind to overcome Hungary 2-1.
In the quarter-finals, a seventh-minute Wayne Rooney goal proved enough for England against Yugoslavia, while Denmark came back from two down at half-time to draw 2-2 with Spain, only to lose on penalties. France also needed spot kicks to progress after drawing 1-1 against Germany, and Switzerland cruised past Georgia 3-0. So to the semi-finals where Switzerland again won 3-0, this time against England, and France prevailed on penalties after a 1-1 draw against Spain. Guillaume Plessis put France ahead shortly before half-time but then scored a late own goal as the game moved on to penalties. Plessis missed his attempt in the shoot-out, but France still won through 3-2.
Rooney went out on a high with a hat-trick as England beat Spain 4-1 to clinch third place, but in the final France's shoot-out luck evaporated. Having drawn 0-0, Plessis and Samy Houri missed France's first two spot kicks, and Reto Ziegler eventually made it 4-2 to ensure Switzerland the trophy.
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