Spain's Vilda hails 'incredible' title triumph
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Jorge Vilda labelled his Spain team's second straight UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship win "an incredible thing", while his France counterpart tried to remain upbeat.
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Spain coach Jorge Vilda labelled his team's second consecutive UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship success "an incredible thing" after Alba Pomares's last-gasp strike saw off a spirited France side in Sunday's final in Nyon.
France coach Paco Rubio was left with mixed feelings following the 1-0 defeat, meanwhile, remembering that his youngsters had experienced the other side of the coin in emerging successful from a nerve-testing penalty shoot-out against Germany in Thursday's semi-final.
Jorge Vilda, Spain coach
I'm very happy for this victory. It's an incredible thing for Spain to win their second title in a row. This is a very important triumph for us because it will hopefully give women's football more coverage in the media in Spain and encourage more young girls to take part in football.
The first half we controlled quite well. France came back more in the second half, but we managed to grab the win with virtually the last kick of the game. From the off, it was a finely balanced match, both teams playing well but cancelling each other out and one small detail was going to make the difference. I'm glad it was us who managed to do that. Our goalkeeper Noelia Gil was very solid for us today and Ivana Andrés was also impeccable. Obviously, Alba Pomares stood out as well for her winner, but this victory is the fruit of the whole team's efforts.
From the beginning, we had tough qualifying matches and our first aim was to qualify for the finals. So to win the tournament is a great feeling after the long journey we have been on.
Paco Rubio, France coach
Football is cruel – it was cruel for the Germans [in the semi-final penalty shoot-out on Thursday], and it's cruel for us today. Spain played with the ball and we couldn't get our game going. The players who normally create our play were not able to do so today. Perhaps they were tired after Thursday.
The team has experienced a positive adventure together and they've got this far, but it hurts terribly to lose a final because people only remember the team that came first. We have been together for a year and a half; it's a shame that we're going to leave each other on a note of disappointment. They will remember this – it's an experience, and I hope for them that they will go on and have more experiences like this and play in other finals.