Germany's seventh success

Germany made it seven victories in the 12th edition of this competition, for the fifth time winning the final on penalties.

Germany's seventh success
Germany's seventh success ©Sportsfile

Just like in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017, Germany took the 2019 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship on penalties but there were new finalists in the shape of the Netherlands.

When Germany and Spain both topped their groups, a fourth straight final between those nations (and fifth in six years) seemed on the cards. But the Netherlands saw off Spain in the semi-finals, only to miss out against Germany in the decider, which like all matches this season were at 90 minutes, increased from 80 with both teams now allowed up to five substitutions.

Top three goals of 2019 Women's U17 EURO
Top three goals of 2019 Women's U17 EURO

Bulgaria, as hosts, were taking part in their first women's final tournament at any level and in front of 3,000 fans in Dobrich made a respectable start, losing 3-1 to Portugal with Zdravka Parapunova getting their goal. Denmark held Spain 0-0 in the other Group A opener, allowing Portugal to make early progress to their first Women's U17 semi-final with a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Denmark three days later.

Spain had seen off Bulgaria 3-0 to open up a three-point lead over Denmark in second place. So although Denmark edged Bulgaria 2-0, Spain claimed the other semi-final spot and first position with a 6-0 thrashing of Portugal including a hat-trick by Salma Paralluelo, who was not only one of a handful of players who had already helped them win EURO and FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup titles in 2018, but had also taken part in the senior 2019 European Athletic Indoor Championships over 400 metres.

See how Germany made it seven titles
See how Germany made it seven titles

Over in Group B, the eventual finalists both started in style, Germany dispatching England 4-0 and the Netherlands seeing off Austria 4-1 with a hat-trick by Nikita Tromp, who in qualifying had already moved past the old record of 20 career goals in this competition. Tromp then got the decisive penalty as the Netherlands squeezed past Germany 3-2 while England recovered to scalp Austria 2-1.

Germany made sure of their semi-final place by defeating Austria 3-1 but the Netherlands still had to avoid a three-goal loss to England. And in the early stages of their second half, England went 2-0 up but were then unable to get the third goal they required.

Netherlands end Spain reign
Netherlands end Spain reign

Having avoided an exit, the Netherlands returned to form in the semis by curtailing Spain's reign as champions, 3-1. Germany were comfortable 2-0 victors against Portugal, meanwhile, ensuring they equalled Spain's mark of eight final appearances.

Germany struck first in the final in Albena though Sophie Weidauer on 19 minutes, only for the Netherlands to instantly reply via Tromp, taking her finals-leading goal haul to six – equalling Vivianne Miedema's single-season record of 18 including qualifying and leaving her career Women's U17 EURO at 27, seven clear of anyone else.

There were no more goals in the 90 minutes and so, for the sixth time in ten years, the final was decided on penalties. Germany had won the last five of those shoot-outs and although Tromp converted the first kick, the Netherlands missed their third, fourth and fifth efforts. But then so did Germany, for whom Pauline Nelles then pulled off another save from Esmee Brugts as sudden death began. Mieke Schiemann halted the run of misses to give Germany the title 3-2 on spot kicks, and end a rare year where they were holders of none of UEFA's female trophies.