UEFA Women's U17 EURO final preview: Germany vs Spain
Saturday, 14 May 2022
The dominant nations in the history of the WU17 EURO meet once again in the final as Germany face Spain in Sarajevo.
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The two teams who between them have won 11 of the previous 12 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals go head to head in the 13th as Germany play Spain in Sarajevo on Sunday.
Both of these sides have won every game on their run, including qualifying, and neither have conceded a goal during this final tournament in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That will have to change at Stadium Grbavica, unless it is to be the fourth of these nations' sixth finals to go to penalties, with no extra time if the match is level after 90 minutes.
There has been a three-year gap since the last WU17 EURO final tournament due to COVID, but themes familiar from the 2010s reasserted themselves. Germany won all three group games 2-0, then beat France 1-0 to give themselves a chance to defend the title the won last time out in 2019 on penalties against the Netherlands.
Spain surprisingly lost their 2019 semi-final with the Netherlands but the class of 2022 made no such mistake, their 3-0 win adding to their three group victories where they totalled 11 unanswered goals. In fact Spain also kept three clean sheets in round 2, only conceding once in this competition, in a 2-1 round 1 defeat of Serbia when already two up.
Having won all 13 matches they have played this season, including a 2-1 home friendly defeat of Germany in January, Spain are closing in on 50 goals for 2021/22 with a wealth of attacking options, not least 15-year-old playmaker Vicky López.
Germany also have a No10 aged 15 masterminding their offensive play in Alana Sehitler. But their well-organised defence, marshalled by captain Jella Veit and backed by towering goalkeeper Eva Boettcher, have allowed few chances up to now.
Views from the camps
Friederike Kromp, Germany coach: "We have had a long journey, ten wins in a row. We are so happy to be in the final now and playing against the reigning world champions. Spain as always are the benchmark in Europe, maybe the benchmark in the world, so we can't wait to challenge them. We are really happy to be in the final, we are really prepared and looking forward to playing against each other."
Kenio Gonzalo, Spain coach: "We know we have a very hard team in front of us in Germany but we are very excited. In my opinion being in the final is a great opportunity. We are very excited and we have a great chance in playing this match. The most important thing is not the winning, it's the way we have reached the final."
Jella Veit, Germany captain: "I am very happy that we are in the final. It is great that the two best teams will play against each other. For all of us it's amazing because we have never had such a big tournament and I think it will be a tough game."
Marina Artero, Spain captain: "We have worked hard to stay here until the final. We know we have a very hard team in front of us in Germany but we are very excited."
- Both these teams are in the final for the ninth time, out of 13 editions.
- Germany currently have seven titles, Spain have four (Poland in 2012/13 the only other winners).
- This is the sixth Germany vs Spain final. Of the other five, Germany have won four (including three on penalties) but Spain won the most recent in 2018 (2-0).
- Germany won the most recent tournament to be completed in 2019.
- Neither of these teams have conceded in the competition. No team has won an eight-team final tournament without letting in a goal.
- A record ten different players have scored for Spain in these finals.
- A win for either team over 90 minutes would make them the first to win this tournament with a 100% record since the introduction of the group stage in 2013/14.
- Both teams also won all their qualifying games: the last 'perfect seasons' were Germany in the inaugural 2007/08 and 2008/09 seasons, eight matches apiece.
FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
Both these teams have qualified for the World Cup in India from 11 to 30 October by reaching the final: Germany have reached all seven editions while Spain are the holders from 2018. Beaten semi-finalists France and the Netherlands will play off at 14:00 CET on Sunday in Zenica for Europe's third berth.