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Mitryushkin the hero as Russia claim U17 title

Italy 0-0 Russia (Russia win 5-4 on pens)
Anton Mitryushkin saved three spot kicks as Russia won the UEFA European Under-17 Championship for the second time.

Mitryushkin the hero as Russia claim U17 title
Mitryushkin the hero as Russia claim U17 title ©UEFA.com

Russia claimed their second UEFA European Under-17 Championship title after Anton Mitryushkin's penalty heroics ensured victory against Italy in Zilina.

Following a goalless 80 minutes, the captain saved from Davide Di Molfetta, Giacomo Sciacca and Andrea Palazzi, allowing Sergei Makarov to convert the decisive kick in sudden death. It appears Russia are blessed from the spot at this level – Dmitri Khomukha's side also defeated Sweden by the same method in the last four and claimed their first title on penalties in 2006, their only previous visit to the finals.

Italy had played their best football of the tournament in the semi-finals and the unchanged starting XI carried that form into the first half here, threatening early as Luca Vido fired over before Mitryushkin rushed out to deny Demetrio Steffè.

Understandably on such a big occasion, the football was cagey at times, but when the chances did arrive they were invariably at Russia's end. Already with two goals to his name in the final tournament, Elio Capradossi headed a corner over before Alberto Cerri was unable to break his duck as he was denied at the back post by the ever-alert Russia No1. Federico Dimarco provided the ball for his captain and the excellent left-back saw a direct free-kick of his own beaten away shortly after.

Russia were unable to find their stride, their only sniff in the opening 40 coming when Simone Scuffet miscontrolled with Ramil Sheydaev lurking, but the Udinese Calcio goalkeeper scrambled to clear before the FC Zenit St Petersburg striker could take full advantage.

Khomukha attempted to inject life into his side with the introduction of pacey winger Aleksandr Makarov at the break, but Italy continued to dominate. Vido might have put them in front but could not quite turn in Gennaro Tutino's cross at the near post. The Italy No18 then showed a delightful touch to control, ease away from his marker and force a sharp save from Mitryushkin as the Azzurrini continued to push.

Substitute Aleksei Gasilin was thwarted by a good block from Palazzi as Russia slowly worked their way into the contest, and Danila Buranov struck a post with a late free-kick, but neither side could find a winner, meaning penalties would decide it. Mitryushkin's save from Di Molfetta's opening attempt set the tone for the shoot-out, the Russia captain's hands starting on the ball and eventually ending on the trophy.