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Bernhard: Germany never gave up

Published: Sunday 8 December 2013, 21.50CET
Anouschka Bernhard hailed the spirit of her Germany players after they came from behind to beat Spain on penalties and claim the UEFA European Women's U17 Championship title.
by Simon Hart
from Chesterfield FC Stadium

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Published: Sunday 8 December 2013, 21.50CET

Bernhard: Germany never gave up

Anouschka Bernhard hailed the spirit of her Germany players after they came from behind to beat Spain on penalties and claim the UEFA European Women's U17 Championship title.

Anouschka Bernhard, Germany coach
The first five minutes I got a really good feeling but then the game changed. Spain were the better team at that moment and we had to fight – we couldn't play our own game, we had to react to theirs. At half-time I told my girls it is only 1-1 and we still have a chance. I knew Spain would be thinking it was not easy as they were the better team and this was our chance. We never gave up in the second half and at the end scored close to the final whistle.

[Before the penalties] my goalkeeping coach said 'we're on our way to victory'. The way the game was going we were in a better situation. Spain were the better team for 75 minutes but at the end they had to go through a penalty shoot-out and for us it was a victory just to get to the shoot-out so we had nothing to lose. For Spain it was harder and this was an advantage for us. But if we could do this without a penalty shoot-out it would be better for my hair!

[On the role of scoring substitute Isabella Hartig] This is the reason why we do a substitution – to bring more power on the field. We know that all our substitutes are really good players and I tell them every time before a match that we have 11 players on the pitch and have our bench too because when we make a substitution we bring more power on to the field. We are glad that the substitution had this result.

We are so proud with what the girls have done these last two weeks, not only playing the tournament here but on top of that it's a great experience for their personal development to handle the situation, to be together for more than two weeks with the same group. This is very important for them and they did a great job.

Jorge Vildas, Spain coach
I think we gave Germany a really tough game and I'm proud of the job the whole team did. Sometimes football is unfair. It's another learning experience for my players – they're developing and this will help them learn and realise that winning a tournament is really complicated. We've been faultless – we've remained unbeaten until the end. The penalty shoot-out went the way of Germany so congratulations to them.

We had quite a lot more chances than them but couldn't convert them. It felt like the second goal was going to come but we got a bit nervous and started kicking the ball forward a bit. We know that physically they are stronger and with one attack they made it 1-1 and then came out on top in the penalties. We've gone two seasons without losing a game and last time we got the bronze, and this time the silver.

The good thing is that football always gives you a chance of revenge, and ours will come soon enough, in March in Costa Rica [at the FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup]. We'll try to prepare as well as possible and I'm sure we'll be well placed to compete and try to win the tournament.

They are much better players than when they arrived here two weeks ago and than when we started preparing three weeks ago. This is not just helpful for their football but their lives and I'm really proud of the job they've done.

Last updated: 09/12/13 11.58CET

Related information

http://www.uefa.com/womensunder17/news/newsid=2033695.html#bernhard+germany+never+gave

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