Netherlands 1-2 Germany
Ivana Rudelic struck an added-time winner as Germany came from behind to beat the Oranje and preserve their 100% record ahead of the semi-finals.
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Ivana Rudelic struck an added-time winner as Germany came from behind to beat the Netherlands 2-1 and preserve their 100% record at the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship.
The Oranje, needing a three-goal victory to have any chance of progress, forged ahead through Shanice van de Sanden before the hour but an unlikely task looked impossible when substitute Lena Lotzen equalised seconds after coming on. Even victory eluded them in the end as Rudelic ensured Germany go into Wednesday's semi-final against Switzerland in high spirits.
Maren Meinert made a maximum seven changes to the XI that secured top spot in Group B with a game to spare on Thursday, yet her side were soon into their stride in Imola. With their pressing game suffocating the Netherlands attack – winger Van de Sanden aside – they were soon knocking on the door at the other end.
Right-back Luisa Wensing was hammering harder than most. Assured in defence, she was a potent threat in attack too and it took strong hands from Laura du Ry to keep out her shot from the angle. There was nothing the goalkeeper could do about her powerful header from Jennifer Cramer's corner, though it went just over the bar.
Meinert rang the changes at half-time, bolstering the midfield with Leonie Maier and Isabella Schmid and the latter almost broke the deadlock following another Cramer corner. The Netherlands sparked into action, and after Pia Rijsdijk wasted a one-and-one opportunity, Van de Sanden showed more poise to send Nadia Coolen's through ball into the far corner.
Lieke Martens could have doubled the advantage but after running through the Germany back line and rounding the goalkeeper, Wensing cleared off the line. It was the turning point. Soon after Lotzen rose above Du Ry to head in Cramer's pinpoint cross and Germany moved in for the kill.
By the end of the match they had racked up 30 attempts on goal, Ramona Petzelberger skimming the crossbar, and the 28th proved decisive. With the final whistle looming super sub Lotzen ended a nice solo run by squaring for Rudelic to finish clinically with her right foot.