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Germany take title back off Spain

After a goalless final, Germany beat Spain on penalties in front of a record-breaking crowd in Borisov to reclaim the title and cap an otherwise high-scoring tournament.

2016 final highlights: See how Germany won on penalties
2016 final highlights: See how Germany won on penalties

The ninth UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship was the biggest yet with a field of 47 nations, so it was appropriate that it should conclude with an eight-team final tournament – the third in the competition's history – that broke several records on and off the pitch.

The qualification stage, comprising an autumn qualifying round and a spring elite round, whittled down the initial cast of 44 countries – who were joined mid-term by seeds Germany and France – to a final-round lineup of eight, including hosts Belarus.

From the moment the two groups of four kicked off, it was clear the attendances would be healthy. Perhaps encouraged by mild weather and mostly late-afternoon start times, the young enthusiastic crowds that congregated for each of the 16 games amounted to an unprecedented aggregate attendance of 44,653 (more than doubling the previous record). That figure included the competition-record 10,200 crowd for the final itself, as a single-match WU17 attendance record was set three times during the two weeks.

Spectators were treated to a championship-high 58 finals goals, with 12 scored in just one group stage game to set a record winning margin for a UEFA tournament of any description.

While Germany were involved in their eighth finals and Spain their seventh – with England, Norway and Italy also relative WU17 EURO 'veterans' – one particularly noteworthy statistic was that 20 countries have now taken part in this tournament, following the debuts here of Belarus, Czech Republic and Serbia.

England won all three of their Group A games, including that record 12-0 defeat of Belarus, with Norway also beating Serbia and the hosts. In Group B, three of the first four games were drawn with only holders Spain's 1-0 win against the Czech Republic decisive. They then overcame Italy 3-1 to top the group, joined by Germany, 4-0 victors against the Czechs.

Spain saw off Norway 4-0 with four second-half goals, three in the last nine minutes, in the first semi-final while Germany pipped England 4-3 having led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2. England did beat Norway again, 2-1, to finish third and qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

With more than 10,000 people watching, the final in Borisov was goalless, Germany winning 3-2 on penalties having hit the woodwork four times in the regulation 80 minutes. That took Germany to five titles, two clear of Spain.