Laura Widak and captain Jasmin Sehan both struck an upbeat mood after Germany dug deep to overcome Italy 1-0 and advance to the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final for the fourth time in seven editions.
Ricarda Walkling settled the last-four contest in Chesterfield a quarter of an hour in before Germany – by their own admission – faded in the second half. "We became slightly unsettled in our play," said Widak, who is seeking "revenge" when her side meet Spain in Sunday's showpiece, eager to atone for their 4-0 matchday three defeat by the same opposition.
There were plenty of reasons to remain positive for "proud" Italy captain Lisa Boattin, meanwhile, with third place and a FIFA Women's U-17 World Cup berth at stake against England.
Laura Widak, Germany forward
It's a great feeling. We have achieved the goal we set ourselves before the tournament. We wanted to reach the final and that's what we've done today. It was a very tense game from start to finish, but we deserved to reach the final. We struggled to play our usual game [in the second half] and gave the ball away too easily.
We became slightly unsettled in our play, but were solid at the back until the final whistle. If you want to be a European champion, you have to beat everyone. It would be nice to gain revenge [against Spain]. There is pressure but the nation is right behind us and we can cope with it.
Jasmin Sehan, Germany captain
It's a great feeling, quite unique. I'm delighted we've made it because we were unable to do so last time after being knocked out. I'm confident we'll win on Sunday and be crowned European champions. When you play football in conditions like today, with light rain, it's great fun. The whole team enjoyed it and it didn't affect us. European champions have got to be able to cope with everything and I'm sure we can do that. We're hugely motivated [to win on Sunday].
Lisa Boattin, Italy captain
Of course it is disappointing to lose a game like this when you're playing for a place in the final and World Cup, but we're proud of the way we played against a Germany side who are, and always have been, one of the best nation's in women's football. We've got to turn the page now and think about the third-place play-off. We struggled in the first half. A lot of it was down to fear, perhaps 'Germany' is just a name that strikes fear into you.
In the second half we demonstrated what we can do, causing them problems without being able to score. We're very confident for the game against England. The second half has given us a lot of confidence and motivation for the next game. We've already faced England so we know what to expect. I'm very proud of my team-mates – to create so many problems for Germany meant a great deal to us.
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