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Diani powers France past Germany and into final

Germany 1-2 France
Kadidiatou Diani's double sent Gilles Eyquem's team into Saturday's final as Germany could muster only a late Pauline Bremer penalty in reply.

Diani powers France past Germany and into final
Diani powers France past Germany and into final ©UEFA.com

Second-half substitute Kadidiatou Diani struck twice in the space of three minutes as France overcame Germany 2-1 in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-final in Llanelli.

The FCF Juvisy Essonne forward needed just five minutes to make the breakthrough which, for the first hour, had eluded these well-matched rivals at Parc y Scarlets. Her emphatic header two minutes later effectively denied Germany a way back – doubling the advantage of a France side later reduced to ten players. Although Pauline Bremer found belated reward for Maren Meinert's team with a stoppage-time penalty, it could not prevent Les Bleuettes earning the opportunity of lifting a third Women's U19 title on Saturday.

Linda Dallmann had been the first player to get through the middle of France's defence but goalkeeper Solène Durand repelled the danger with tournament top scorer Bremer lurking. Bremer also came close when she rounded Durand, only for Aurélie Gagnet – not for the last time – to clear off the line.

Hitherto on the back foot, Les Bleuettes responded when Sandie Toletti presented a chance to Clarisse Le Bihan and, on the follow-up, Aminata Diallo. Not surprisingly, a tight contest unfolded between these heavyweights of the women's game, with France midfield anchor Diallo typifying the assiduous work-rate of Gilles Eyquem's charges.

The second half brought the introduction of France playmaker Claire Lavogez yet also a fresh German offensive – Durand keeping out Rebecca Knaak's header as Meinert's troops began brightly. When Bremer escaped the attentions of the formidable Griedge M'Bock Bathy, Durand came to the rescue.

While Toletti drifted an effort narrowly wide of Meike Kämper's goal, there was no indication of the damage to be visited upon the four-time European champions. With 62 minutes on the clock Diani found space on the left of the Germany area to curl home a perfectly measured finish. One-nil quickly became two as No9 Diani rose to power in Lavogez's corner. Eyquem's replacements had paid dividends.

Germany looked a beaten outfit until Bremer scampered clear to be updended on the brink of the box by M'Bock Bathy, who was sent off. Bremer was then frustrated when Gagnet kicked her shot off the line, and team-mate Margarita Gidion by the crossbar, before the No9 at least claimed the consolation of her sixth finals goals – an added-time spot kick awarded for Durand's foul on Lina Magull.

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