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Nadine Angerer saved a penalty in either half to help Germany claim their sixth consecutive European title, Anja Mittag's goal proving the difference against Norway in Solna.
Silvia Neid's team came to Sweden seen by many as ripe to be deposed, particularly after they lost to Norway in the group stage. There was to be no repeat for Even Pellerud's valiant challengers, however, as Angerer kept out spot kicks from Trine Rønning and Solveig Gulbrandsen either side of substitute Mittag's 49th-minute strike. Norway nonetheless played a full part in an entertaining showpiece, and surely none of Germany's eight European crowns can have been so hard-earned.
A tournament record crowd of 41,301 greeted the kick-off with a burst of noise and they nearly had a goal to savour inside two minutes. Germany started the game with palpable hunger and created an early scare from a Dzsenifer Marozsán free-kick, Nadine Kessler looping a header goalwards that Ingrid Hjelmseth parried against the crossbar. Back in the starting XI after recovering from a hamstring injury, Célia Okoyino da Mbabi then dragged a shot wide.
Norway slowly settled, but Lena Lotzen and Marozsán both drew stops from Hjelmseth as the players in black kept pouring forward. Indeed, Maren Mjelde's long-range bouncing effort – eventually claimed by Angerer – soon seemed like a blip when Okoyino da Mbabi skimmed the woodwork with a header from Marozsán's corner.
Still Norway looked to make ground, however, and they were rewarded when Okoyino da Mbabi brought down Cathrine Dekkerhus in the area. Penalty – and the chance to score the opening goal, but Angerer saved superbly with an outstretched leg as Trine Rønning drilled the ball down the middle.
A forlorn figure on the penalty spot, Rønning stood looking at the sky, while Germany quickly regrouped, Simone Laudehr testing Hjelmseth from distance. Norway's No1 then had to react even faster as Marozsán fired low to her right, but she was helpless to prevent Mittag finding the net just four minutes into the second period. Brought on for Lotzen at the restart, the 28-year-old swept in at the far post after Okoyino da Mbabi had sped down the left and slid the ball across goal.
That seemed to relax Germany, and twice Okoyino da Mbabi threatened to double the lead from corners, only being prevented by headers from Ingvild Stensland and Toril Akerhaugen in turn. Norway were not done yet, though, and they won a second penalty when Saskia Bartusiak fouled Caroline Graham Hansen. Solveig Gulbrandsen took responsibility this time, but it was a case of different taker, same outcome as Angerer batted her effort away.
To make things worse for the Norwegians, Ada Hegerberg then had a goal disallowed for offside, and substitute Elise Thorsnes poked narrowly wide after beating Angerer to a lofted ball. The 34-year-old keeper was heading for her fifth European title, and although Nadine Kessler could only clip a post from Leonie Maier's cross, glory beckoned once again. So much for winds of change.
Player of the match: Nadine Angerer (Germany)
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