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Germany through as Sanders knocks out England

Germany 5-0 England
Tournament top scorer Stefanie Sanders plundered four goals as Germany overtook England to finish as Group A runners-up.

Stefanie Sanders takes the plaudits in front of 243 spectators in Fylkir
Stefanie Sanders takes the plaudits in front of 243 spectators in Fylkir ©Sportsfile

Germany start day in third but leapfrog England to finish second
Defending champions score early through Tanja Pawollek and never look back
Irrepressible Stefanie Sanders sets up one then helps herself to four
Group A runners-up to play Switzerland in semis on 1 July at Valsvöllur

Four-time champions Germany bounced back from defeat by Spain to overpower England 5-0 in Fylkir and advance into the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship semi-finals at their opponents' expense.

With John Griffiths' team second at kick-off and needing a point to progress, Germany made the best possible start with Tanja Pawollek's second-minute strike before four goals from the irresistible Stefanie Sanders – now on six for the tournament – confirmed the outcome.

If German morale had been dented in Thursday's 4-0 mauling by Spain, Pawollek's early breakthrough helped erase the damage, the midfielder turning in Sanders' cross following a purposeful run from Germany's strong and swift No9. Anouschka Bernhard's troops did suffer a setback with Luisa Guttenberger succumbing to a knee injury, although England captain Chloe Kelly also took a heavy knock and failed to reappear after half-time.

Sanders bulldozed her way through, forcing Alexandra Maciver to save at her feet, with Jana Feldkamp lifting the rebound over. Sanders made no mistake next time, pouncing when Jenny Hipp helped Anna Gerhardt's cross into her direction on 37 minutes. Germany's position of authority might have been undermined but Danielle Brown drifted a shot centimetres wide as the break beckoned.

Giulia Gwinn almost deepened English woes before Sanders did precisely that within six minutes of the resumption. The forward mopped up from close range after Maciver could not hold onto Pawollek's cross-shot following Janina Minge's ball over the top. From then on England were reliant on Maciver, centre-back Megan Finnigan and German profligacy to keep the result respectable. However, Sanders landed two further blows in the last nine minutes to complete her haul. First she left Maciver and two defenders grounded before tapping in, then she sped clear to smash home her fourth and Germany's fifth.

Anouschka Bernhard, Germany
I was surprised how badly we did against Spain – this, today, is how we can play. We played well and from the very beginning we were in the match and you could see the will to win. We had a plan which we fulfilled. This is how we can play and this is how we want to play each game. This was the right reaction from our team after the Spain match and I'm proud of that reaction. The loss to Spain was really hard for the girls but we learned from it and we did really well today. Our A team had a really hard World Cup game against France and maybe our girls thought about how the seniors give their best from the first minute to the last and tried to do that as well. 

John Griffiths, England
It's a massive disappointment but credit to the Germans – that's why they've won it as many times as they have. It's a lesson for the players and the staff and it's been a privilege to be at this tournament – a massive experience for the girls. We came to win today and we had a plan but it's difficult against players of that calibre. The girls worked incredibly hard and I think it's the scoreline that's the big disappointment rather than perhaps the loss itself. It's a great experience, though, because for anyone to play at the highest level you have to be prepared to face defeats; while we don't like conceding like that, it's a lesson for the girls. It's been a 12-month journey and I'm incredibly proud of these players.