A new system for penalty shoot-outs was trialled at the 2017 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship, but the conclusion was oddly familiar as Germany saw off Spain.
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A new system for penalty shoot-outs was trialled at the 2017 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship, but the conclusion was oddly familiar.
As in 2015/16, and indeed 2013/14, Germany beat Spain in the final on penalties to lift the trophy. That kept up Germany's perfect record from six of the ten Women's U17 finals – and four of those victories came against Spain.
There was a debut for Malta in qualifying but all of the eight teams that proceeded to play in the Czech Republic – Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Norway, England, the Republic of Ireland and the hosts – had experience of past final tournaments.
A competition-record crowd of 10,219 watched France pip the Czech Republic 2-1 on the opening day in Pilsen; elsewhere in Group A, Germany saw off Spain 4-1. The holders then beat France 2-1 and the hosts 5-1 to top the section, while Spain overcame the Czechs 5-1 and then drew 1-1 with Les Bleues to qualify too.
The Netherlands progressed from Group B with a game to spare after scalping Norway 3-1 and England 2-1. England had dispatched Ireland 5-1 but Norway also beat the Republic to set up a final-day showdown. The Norwegians promptly downed England 2-0 to reach the semis.
Norway then looked on course for the final as they led Germany at half-time in their last-four fixture, but Sydney Lohmann's leveller forced penalties. Under a new system, teams would take turns to go first in each 'round' of kicks; whatever the order, Germany missed their first three efforts to trail 2-0. But after that things turned around, with Norway unsuccessful three times and Germany perfect, Andrea Brunner converting the decider in sudden death.
It was more straightforward for Spain as two first-half goals took them past the Netherlands 2-0 and into a fourth straight final. Yet, just as in two of the previous three showpieces where Germany were their opponents, it went to spot kicks with the 80 minutes goalless. Here, Spain failed with their first three kicks, and Germany were not about to throw it away – three-goal finals top scorer Melissa Kössler slotting home to seal the trophy in a 3-1 shoot-out triumph.