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Hinz strikes gold for Germany

Having lost to Spain in the 1991 Under-16 final, Germany turned the tables on their rivals a year on to win the trophy in Cyprus.

The 1992 matchwinner Carsten Hinz later became Germany Under-17 physiotherapist
The 1992 matchwinner Carsten Hinz later became Germany Under-17 physiotherapist ©Bongarts

After losing to Spain in the 1991 Under-16 final, Germany turned the tables on their rivals a year on to win the trophy.

Cyprus were selected as hosts, and all the usual contenders qualified, though Greece, third in 1991, were eliminated by Denmark who recovered from a 4-1 first leg defeat to reach the final tournament 6-5 on aggregate. Germany secured a comfortable passage to the semi-finals, winning all three of their Group C games against Northern Ireland, Scotland and Cyprus to set up a meeting with Italy in the final four. Italy had edged Yugoslavia to top spot in Group A despite losing their final game against Finland, and they pushed Germany to the limit in the semi-finals. For the second year running Germany won a semi-final on penalties, eventually winning the shoot-out 6-5 after a goalless draw.

Spain opened their campaign with a 3-1 victory against Romania and would finish top of Group B undefeated, winning 2-0 against the Netherlands then drawing with the Republic of Ireland. The Netherlands finished with a 4-0 win against Romania, Clarence Seedorf and Patrick Kluivert among their scorers, but it was only good enough for second spot. Portugal completed the semi-final line up thanks to wins against France and Israel either side of a 1-1 draw with Hungary.

That meant Spain and Portugal would meet for the seventh time in this competition in the semi-finals, and Spain gained revenge for their 1989 loss to their neighbours at this stage with a 3-1 win. So to the final where Germany recovered from conceding a 16th-minute goal through Iván Pérez to win 2-1. Till Bettenstaedt equalised before the break and Carsten Hinz struck the winner with 16 minutes left to match the achievement of West Germany in 1984.

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