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Spain secure third triumph

Spain racked up a third success at this level in Iceland in 2015, beating Germany 4-0 in the group stage and Switzerland 5-2 in the final.
Spain secure third triumph
Spain celebrate ©Sportsfile

Spain secure third triumph

Spain racked up a third success at this level in Iceland in 2015, beating Germany 4-0 in the group stage and Switzerland 5-2 in the final.

The final tournament of the 2015 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship was the second to feature eight teams following the event's successful expansion in 2013/14 to an eight-nation format.

Three of the 2013/14 semi-finalists in England were back, with Germany, Spain and the English all returning from that first eight-team tournament together with France. The rest of the field comprised second-time finalists in the form of the host country, Norway, Republic of Ireland and Switzerland. 

Iceland began Group A with a 5-0 defeat by Germany and then went down 3-1 to England before subsequently limiting Spain to a 2-0 victory in their third and final outing. Spain and England had drawn 1-1 in a rematch of their 2013/14 semi-final, and three days later Pedro López's side inflicted a 4-0 defeat on the team that had beat them to the previous season's title, Germany, thanks to Lucía García's first-half hat-trick. The holders did come second, though, thrashing England 5-0 with four Stefanie Sanders goals to add to her two against Iceland.

Highlights: Switzerland stun Germany

In Group B, France were made to work hard before edging Ireland 1-0 through Emelyne Laurent. Switzerland, despite the injury absence of captain Camille Surdez as well as front player Vanessi Hoti, drew 2-2 with Norway and then overcame Ireland 1-0. France saw off Norway 2-0 to book progress, but were to come second as Sandrine Soubeyrand's side lost 2-1 to Switzerland. That meant Norway's 2-0 victory over Ireland was in vain.

Germany dominated their semi-final with Switzerland in terms of chances, yet the Swiss back four of Luisa Felder, Thais Hurni, Sarah Kaufmann and Naomi Mégroz blunted Sanders. Amira Arfaoui came on in the 56th minute to lead the line and she finished a flowing move seconds from stoppage time to end Germany's reign.

Spain-France penalty drama

Spain stood a minute from defeat in the earlier of the last-four double-header against France, after Sarah Galera punished a rare goalkeeping mistake by Amaia Peña. In fact, a physically stronger France, with Katoto and Inès Boutaleb asking questions in attack, had run them incredibly close. But right-winger Natalia Montilla broke off from creating chances to conjure a brilliant 20-metre lob that restored parity on 79 minutes. Then García converted the pressure penalty for a 4-3 shoot-out success.

Spain now had the opportunity of a third title, to move within one win of Germany, and they took it with aplomb, beating Switzerland 5-2 with García getting her fifth goal of the finals to end just one behind Sanders. Between them, Germany and Spain had won seven of the eight editions in the competition's history.

http://www.uefa.com/womensunder17/history/season=2015/index.html#spain+secure+third+triumph