The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion of the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four countries playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each pool progress alongside the five third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 31 qualifiers plus the top seed – given a bye this far – compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section advance to the finals to join the hosts.
In the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the front two from each proceeding to the knockout phase.
Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
UEFA European Under-17 Championship runners-up for the last two years, Germany showed record-breaking form as they topped qualifying round Group 2 to progress along with hosts Finland.
Both teams were already through going into today's group decider having each defeated San Marino and Andorra. Germany cruised to an 8-1 victory to take their goal tally to 23, the highest ever in any UEFA youth mini-tournament, making them a team to beat in the elite round in March.
"It was an impressive attacking performance by my team – that was pure pleasure," said Germany coach Stefan Böger following the last game. "It was nice to see that we can dominate opponents like Finland like that."
Germany were top from the first day when they overcame San Marino 5-0. Their four goals before the break that day included strikes from Timo Werner and Julian Brandt, both part of the side that lost the final to the Netherlands in Slovenia in May on penalties. Finland defeated Andorra 3-0, Karim Jouini scoring twice. The same player had a penalty saved by Octavio Pisco, his first action after replacing starting goalkeeper Victor Pinto, dismissed for fouling Jouini to concede the spot kick.
Two days later Germany raced to a 10-1 win against Andorra, Werner scoring five of the goals to equal the competition record for a single match. Finland ensured they and Germany went into the 5 December elite round draw with a 5-0 win against San Marino, who like Andorra already knew they could not progress as one of the two best third-placed teams. San Marino took that position on goal difference thanks to Fabio Tomassini's last-minute goal sealing a 1-1 draw against Andorra, their first point since holding the Faroe Islands seven years ago, endhing a 20-game losing run.
Finland were shown no mercy in their final game against Germany. Werner scored twice to take his competition-leading tally to eight goals, equalling a record for an U17 mini-tournament set by Pavel Savitski of Belarus in the 2010/11 qualifying round. There was also two each for Brandt and Donis Avdijaj.
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