Both coaches agreed that Germany's stamina was the key after the UEFA European Under-17 Championship hosts beat Italy 2-0 to reach Monday's final against the Netherlands. Germany's Marco Pezzaiuoli believes his team improved as the game went on and Italy's Pasquale Salerno stated that the home nation "are now bound to win the tournament".
Marco Pezzaiuoli, Germany coach
I think we saw two good teams today, Germany and Italy. There had already been a very good semi-final this morning between the Netherlands and Switzerland. We knew before we entered this tournament that we had a good team. We trained very well and I think as the Italy coach said, in the last 20 minutes we were in very good condition and then we played a little bit better. In the first half both teams played too many long balls. Italy were very good in defence with their tall players, and they won every one-on-on situation. But in the second half we played more football, we were better in one-on-one situations and both goals were unbelievable. In the end Italy also had a very good semi-final and I wish the team and coach the very best for the future.
I think anyone can tell we have a lot of goalscorers. We knew from the German league that they were goalscorers, that's why I picked these players. [As for the final], both teams are good as we saw in the last game with the Netherlands, when we won 2-0. We need to be proud of ourselves, we are in the final. But we have to concentrate because they are very good on the ball, typical Dutch soccer.
Pasquale Salerno, Italy coach
We had a very good tournament and had a great semi-final against Germany. And I believe that they are now bound to win the tournament. We managed to play well and I can't blame my lads for whatever happened today. As I usually say, the physical factor prevailed in the end. In the last ten or 15 minutes, our strength was sapped and that cost us the victory.
Of course we could have done better. We stormed into the game because we knew we could compete with Germany. Unfortunately we did not make the best of our two or three chances in the first half. I am very satisfied with the game of my players today. Our U17 players unfortunately do not play top-level games like that in the rest of the season, especially from a physical point of view. They suffered so much, but still they kept on helping each other.
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