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Peter pleased as Germany star again

Germany, who won both previous UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals, have qualified again and coach Ralf Peter told UEFA.com that things are looking good.

Germany line up before their hard-fought win against Austria
Germany line up before their hard-fought win against Austria ©UEFA.com

Ralf Peter had led Germany to victory in both the previous two UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals and after wrapping up qualification again in typically emphatic style, said they could improve even further.

Since the competition was launched in 2007/08, Germany have never lost; indeed their first qualifying round draw with Iceland in September is the only one of 22 fixtures in this competition they have failed to win. Three more victories followed in second qualifying round Group 4 over the last week, beating hosts Austria, Norway and Finland with a total of eight unanswered goals.

"Three matches, three wins," Peter – whose team play the Republic of Ireland in the semi-finals in Nyon on 22 June – told UEFA.com after Thursday's 3-0 win against Finland. "We are satisfied, although I saw some problems with how we played. We will work hard to solve those by the next stage of the competition."

Unsurprisingly, Peter found much to praise. "Our defence was very well organised, we conceded no goals in the mini-tournament," Peter said.
"We had some problems in the first match with Austria creating good chances, because the home side's defence was very solid and the whole Austrian team played deep in their own half. However, in the second match with Norway we played very well in attack as well as in defence. We look forward to the next round and I hope we can advance to the final in Nyon for the third time."

With qualification already assured, Peter had the chance to try out fringe players against Finland. "Today it was a kind of friendly for us," he said. "It was a good opportunity to give a chance to the substitutes. They played well. A few of them played so well that they have a good chance of making the starting XI in the next round."