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Pomares, Gili, Andrés enjoy 'dream' night

Match-winner Alba Pomares, captain Gema Gili and Ivana Andrés shared their joy with UEFA.com after helping Spain defend the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship.

Spain 1-0 France ©Sportsfile

Match-winner Alba Pomares revealed her mix of joy and relief after Spain beat France 1-0 to retain the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship in Nyon.

With Sunday's final balanced at 0-0 and goalscoring opportunities few and far between, the game looked to be heading for a penalty shoot-out. Then Pomares, fed by Spain captain Gema Gili's back-heel, pulled off a dipping added-time strike over France goalkeeper Solène Durand to finally break the deadlock.

"It was quite a difficult game for us, it was tough-going at times, but we managed it in the end," Pomares told UEFA.com. "Until the final whistle blew, we didn't know what would happen. "I was down the right wing, Gema back-heeled it to me and I managed get a shot in. I thought if I hit it high enough it could dip in and fortunately it did."

Pomares added: "We'll celebrate this now and take some well-earned rest. But I am really, really happy to have helped the team win the European title for a second consecutive year."

Gili, who lifted the trophy among scenes of wild celebration from the Rojita and a large Spanish contingency at the Stade Colovray, believed the team's togetherness shone through on the day.

"It doesn't matter that we come from different clubs; the important thing you need to win a championship is to be a real team on the pitch and I think we have shown that during this tournament," she said.

"The truth is, I knew there wasn't much time left and if we were going to score, we had to do it quickly. I heard Alba shout to me and, confident of where she was positioned, I back-heeled the ball to her without looking.

"I'm really tired now. It was a really hard match, high on intensity, but I am happy for the high level the team has shown today and during the tournament in general. It was a complicated game. France never let up, they were dangerous on the counterattack. But through tenacity and hard work we eventually got the goal we had been looking for.

"Lifting the trophy is a feeling that you just can't explain with words. When you reach the highest point in your sport, in this case football, it's like a dream. It's a great feeling to know that our hard work during the whole year has been rewarded. It's indescribable."

Gili's Valencia CF Femenino team-mate Ivana Andrés, a rock at the heart of the Spanish rearguard throughout the final tournament, said she hoped the win would have wider impact on women's football in her homeland.

"At one point it crossed my mind that we might have to have a penalty shoot-out. But the team kept trying and we got the goal," said Andrés. "We hope the people in Spain recognise this achievement, and the title last year, and that it goes some way to helping women's football in Spain become professional."

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