As the Women's U19 Championship's oldest rivals prepare to meet, we review their six previous tussles and finds that while drama is guaranteed, a German victory no longer is.
Article top media content
The UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship's oldest rivals meet again on Wednesday when four-time winners Germany take on France, victors in 2003 and 2010, in Llanelli. UEFA.com looks back at their previous six final tournament encounters and finds that while France have never won in regulation time, there is cause for hope – especially if it goes to penalties.
2002: France 2-3 Germany, group stage (Sweden)
Appropriately this was the first ever Women's U19 finals fixture and, in a sign of things to come, Germany edged a thriller. France went in 2-1 up at half-time after two Claire Morel goals cancelled out Barbara Müller's opener. Germany, however, winners of the last two U18 tournaments, showed their class after the break and secured the points as Müller completed her hat-trick. "Morel was very good but we dictated the play after the interval," said Germany coach Silvia Neid. "We got better as the game wore on."
2002: Germany 3-1 France, final (Sweden)
Helsingborg was the venue once more ten days later as the teams met again, and the sense of deja vu did not stop there. Neid said she had been left "ashamed" of Germany's 1-0 semi-final victory over England but was in ebullient mood after first-half goals from Isabelle Bachor, Barbara Müller and one after the break from the outstanding Viola Odebrecht eclipsed Sandrine Rouquet's sublime opening goal. "In Europe we play and play and play and in the end Germany win," said France boss Bruno Bini.
2006: Germany 3-0 France, final (Switzerland)
Runners-up in the preceding year, France were unable to atone as Germany proved too strong. Isabel Kerschowski struck on 13 minutes and early in the second half rolled the ball in from distance after skipping past keeper Véronique Pons. Her twin, Monique Kerschowski, was not to be outdone and with 15 minutes left her deflected goal sealed it. "We tried to keep going forward, but it was impossible," said France's trainer Stéphane Pilard. On the other bench, Maren Meinert had her first title.
2007: Germany 4-2 France, semi-finals (Iceland)
When Germany established a two-goal lead through Stephanie Goddard and Nicole Banecki, the holders looked set for a similar triumph. However, France mounted a thrilling comeback. Marie-Laure Delie and Chloé Mazaloubeaud made it 2-2 and Delie almost grabbed a winner in regulation time, hitting the bar with an excellent header. Onto extra time where penalties loomed until substitute Susanne Hartel registered on the counter and then Isabel Kerschowski (again) added insult to French injury.
2009: France 1-2 Germany, group stage (Belarus)
Jessica Wich scored twice in a minute as Germany recovered from a disastrous start, falling behind to Solène Barbance's goal, to begin their campaign with three points. Both strikes owed to the unselfish awareness of Dzenifer Marozsan, the 17-year-old giving Wich the simplest of opportunities to equalise and then combining with Svenja Huth to tee up the grateful striker once more. "I have to congratulate Germany – there was no shame in losing to them today," said France boss Jean-Michel Degrange.
2010: Germany 1-1 France, semi-finals; aet, France win 5-3 on pens (FYROM)
Barbance made the breakthrough again the following year and must have been having flashbacks as Kyra Malinowski quickly levelled. Yet this time it took spot kicks to separate the sides in Kumanovo and while France buried all their efforts, Valeria Kleiner shot wide for Germany. Les Bleuettes proceeded to beat England in the final while Bettina Wiegmann, Germany's stand-in coach, warned: "We have a very young team so we'll be back next year." They proved prescient words.