Marie-Antoinette Katoto marked herself out as a prospect for France and Paris Saint-Germain with her pace, skill and clinical finishing but it was another quality that helped decide the 2016 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in her nation's favour.
France led the final against Spain in Senec 1-0 at half-time when a downpour forced a delay of more than two hours before the second period began. When it did, the second goal arrived when the dogged Katoto chased down a ball that had become stuck on the pitch between a Spain defender and goalkeeper.
Katoto beat both and with an eye on conditions dribbled towards goal and waited until there could be no danger of her shot holding up before the line prior to striking and setting up an eventual 2-1 win.
That determination and physical strength had given France the edge, and Katoto said: "The weather of course helped my goal. It made it very difficult for all the players but it held up well for my goal. We were very motivated [during the rain delay], we kept our focus, we could have waited longer or played extra time, we would have won anyway."
That goal was Katoto's sixth of the finals in Slovakia, leaving her as top scorer, one ahead of the Netherlands' Jill Roord. Katoto had helped drag France back into contention following their opening loss to Norway, scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 defeat of Slovakia and another goal as well as earning a penalty in the 2-1 win against the Netherlands that took Les Bleues through.
In the semi-finals Katoto starred again in her lone forward role. France trailed Switzerland 1-0 at half-time but then levelled and it was Katoto that put them ahead with a strong finish before her clever pass set up Clara Mateo to seal a 3-1 victory.
The title win completed a fine season for Katoto, who had already won the French youth league with Paris having in January signed a professional contract until 2019, with three senior league goals to her name following several first-team appearances.
Squad of the tournament
Goalkeepers: Mylène Chavas (France), Paulina Quaye (Netherlands)
Defenders: Théa Greboval (France), Beatriz Beltrán (Spain), Carmen Menayo (Spain), Vita van der Linden (Netherlands), Ashleigh Weerden (Netherlands)
Midfielders: Sandra Hernández (Spain), Patri Guijarro (Spain), Grace Geyoro (France), Andrea Sánchez Falcón (Spain), Perle Morroni (France), Michelle Hendricks (Netherlands), Lucía García (Spain)
Forwards: Jill Roord (Netherlands), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France), Géraldine Reuteler (Switzerland), Clara Mateo (France)
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