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Women's U19 final preview: Spain v Netherlands

UEFA.com previews Sunday's 2014 decider between two teams with contrasting pedigree but both are reaching their peaks at just the right time under new coaches.

Spain coach Jorge Vilda shakes hands with Andre Koolhof
Spain coach Jorge Vilda shakes hands with Andre Koolhof ©Sportsfile

UEFA.com previews Sunday's 2014 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship decider, pitting 2004 winners Spain against first-time finalists the Netherlands.

Spain kicked off on a bum note in Norway, going down 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland, but they have been on song ever since. A few tweaks were all that was required to make a stuttering side into a fluent one, and three successive 2-0 wins is testament to a well-balanced unit, with strength right down the spine.

In Jorge Vilda they have a coach who needs no introduction to finals, either, winning two UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championships and reaching April's FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup decider before turning his attention to the U19s. Spain have pedigree in this tournament, too, losing the final two years ago and pulling off the biggest shock of all by winning in 2004.

Route to final
GS 0-1 v Republic of Ireland
GS 2-0 v Sweden
GS 2-0 v England
SF 2-0 v Norway

Jorge Vilda, Spain coach
This is my seventh final as a head coach and eighth in all. I will try to convey to the girls a sense of calm – you have to stay calm. For me the players are already champions. It is important to progress through the final, as we have, and to be at your best in the final. When we play tournaments like these we always aim high but we take it match by match. For every game we set a goal. Of course I always hoped we would reach the final but there are things in football beyond your control.

Vivianne Miedema has dominated the Netherlands' campaign, shaking off a groin problem to score five goals in three games – no other player has managed more than two in Norway. The FC Bayern München forward will lead Dutch attempts to inscribe their name on the new trophy in their first attempt, but André Koolhof's side run deeper than that.

Five-goal Vivianne Miedema
Five-goal Vivianne Miedema©Sportsfile

Like Spain, the Netherlands have kept three clean sheets though they were rocking amid Scotland's second-half onslaught on matchday two. It has been relatively plain sailing since, with Inessa Kaagman, Jill Roord and Jeslynn Kuijpers in particular growing as the tournament has progressed. Miedema's hat-trick caught the eye against Ireland in the semis but it was very much a team effort.

Route to final
GS 0-0 v Norway
GS 3-2 v Scotland
GS 1-0 v Belgium
SF 4-0 v Republic of Ireland

André Koolhof, Netherlands coach
It's my first final and a good way to end my first year in women's football. We've been growing in strength throughout the tournament and in Miedema we have a terrific striker. Scoring goals is the most important thing in football, but she brings more to the side than that – she helps those around her raise their game. Spain are a good team and we will have to do our best to counter them. But we play some good stuff too. We have really grown into the tournament but the final brings its own stresses among players and staff. We just have to focus on ourselves.

Previous meetings in this competition
2003 GS: Spain 1-2 Netherlands
2008 2Q: Spain 1-0 Netherlands
2009 1Q: Spain 1-1 Netherlands
2010 GS: Spain 0-2 Netherlands
2011 GS: Spain 1-1 Netherlands

Follow it all on UEFA.com, on Twitter using #WU19 and on Eurosport. If you are in and around Oslo, come along – under-18s get in for free. Kick-off is at 18.00CET.