Germany won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup for the third time by defeating Nigeria 1-0 after extra time in Montreal on Sunday night.
Maren Meinert's team asserted themselves in an incredibly difficult section, beating holders the United States 2-0, drawing 5-5 with China and clinching Group B with a 5-1 victory against Brazil.
In a hard-fought quarter-final, hosts Canada were ousted 2-0, before Germany faced France – who eliminated them in the last four of the qualifying event, the 2013 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in Wales – en route to winning the trophy. This time Germany prevailed 2-1 thanks to a goal by Lena Petermann with nine minutes left.
Watched by senior national team coach Silvia Neid, the final against a strong Nigeria side remained goalless for 90 minutes, and Germany proved to be the more efficient team when Petermann struck in extra time. France overcame North Korea 3-2 for bronze, while the other European contenders, England and Finland, went out in the group stage.
UEFA.com rounds up the reaction from the Germany camp.
Maren Meinert, coach
The players and I spent the whole summer cheering on the men's team and their success definitely motivated us. The quality of teams we've beaten along the way makes us especially proud. One crucial thing today was that we played very well defensively as well as offensively, and the whole team worked hard to achieve that. Every one of my girls put in 100% and the win, in my opinion, is definitely deserved. I am proud of my team and happy that we managed to win it.
We wanted to play a good tournament but never expected to become World Cup winners. It was a crazy final, like the matches before were, too. It was fantastic how we worked our way into the match in defence today.
Lina Magull, captain
Since full time I have been asking myself: 'Are we really World Cup winners now?' Slowly, you realise it. Our team spirit was key to our success. We just wanted it more. We deserve to have won it.
Lena Petermann, goalscorer
I am lost for words, it is so unreal, you have to let it all sink in first. Desire and team spirit were decisive.
Manjou Wilde, defender
I am very relieved. It was a tiring game and a tiring few weeks – I am just [so] happy. We grew together so tightly, especially after losing some players before the tournament. We fought for everyone who had to stay at home. We desperately wanted the title, that's what made the difference.
Meike Kämper, goalkeeper
It is a great evening, I am overjoyed that we did it. Beforehand hardly anyone expected us to win the World Cup. A dream has come true.
Sara Däbritz, midfielder
It is an incredible feeling. We wanted this title right away. No one would have thought we could do it and now we really are world champions.
Silvia Neid, national coach
I am very happy about this win for our U-20 women, who achieved this success with a great team effort and outstanding team spirit. The team was asked to perform over the entire tournament by strong opponents. Many of the players born in 1996 have the chance to play another Under-20 World Cup in two years' time, which is important for their development. Also, I have seen several players with the potential to play in the senior side.
Wolfgang Niersbach, German Football Association (DFB) president
Huge compliments to Maren Meinert and her entire team. The team played a great tournament and deserve this title thanks to their commitment and attitude. After winning the men's Under-19 European Championship this shows that there is also outstanding youth work with our girls. This World Cup win is the perfect warm-up for the Women's Bundesliga, which starts on 30 August.
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