France Were crowned UEFA Women’s Under-19 champions after a hard-fought victory over Germany at St. Mirren Park.
A crowd of 1135 watched on as the two sides played out an enthralling final, the match was full of chances, but Germany will feel aggrieved to have lost after dominating large spells of the match.
France had the opening chance of the game when Naomie Feller drove beyond the German defence and squared the ball to Malard in the penalty box. The forward couldn’t get a shot away and passed to Baltimore who blazed her shot over the bar from an excellent position.
That miss would prove costly, Germany opened the scoring moments after through Nicole Anyomi. Melissa Kossler struck a fierce shot against the woodwork before the ball fell to Anyomi, the German number nine was on hand to finish into an empty net.
— Equipe de France ⭐⭐ (@equipedefrance) July 28, 2019
The lead didn’t last long, Sandy Baltimore redeemed her earlier miss by drawing France level after twelve minutes. The left midfielder was found in plenty of space by Polito’s crossfield ball before hitting a low left footed shot past Willebrandt from a tight angle. The German ‘keeper visibly disappointed to be beaten at her front post.
The first half was fast paced with both sides creating plenty of chances. German winger Chmielinski forced a fantastic save from Lerond whilst Sandy Baltimore looked dangerous on each occasion that she received the ball.
Maren Meinert was taking charge of her final game as German coach and her side seemed motivated to give their manager the perfect send off. They continued to dominate the remainder of the first half and looked the more likely of the two sides to find a second goal. Defender Lisann Kaur went close but her goalbound volley was cleared, whilst scorer of the opening goal Anyomi looked lively throughout.
It was Anyomi who went closest to restoring her side’s lead moments before the half time whistle, curling an effort onto the post after being played clean through on goal.
Germany picked up where they left off as they pressed for a second goal at the start of the second half. Chmielinski could have scored after latching onto a loose ball in the area but her acrobatic effort went narrowly wide, Anyomi continued to terrorise the French back four and hit a shot from distance which went just wide of the target.
France were playing in a record tenth Women’s Under-19 Championship Final but struggled to gain a foothold in the match. ‘Keeper Lerond impressed throughout and was on hand to keep the score level midway through the second half, tipping a Marie Muller free kick which looked destined for the French goal over the crossbar.
Despite Germany’s dominance it was France who got the all-important goal which would decide the final. Melvine Malard did well to win a corner which was swung to the near post by Julie Dufour, French centre-back Maelle Lakrar was first to the ball and glanced a header past Willebrandt to score.
France could have put the final beyond the reach of Germany moments after when Malard connected well with a cross from substitute Vicki Becho but her header went narrowly over the bar. German substitute Martinez went close to equalising at the other end; however the substitute couldn’t find a way past the inspired Justine Lerond.
The impressive Chmielinski looked to have scored in injury time as she went clean through on goal but Lerond got down quickly to turn the ball away. Time was against Germany as they tried desperately to find an equaliser and they were left to rue earlier missed chances as France held on to win a fifth Women’s Under-19 Championship title, their first since 2016.
— #WU19EURO (@UEFAWomensEURO) July 28, 2019
#WU19EURO: at a glance
Semi-finals: Netherlands, Spain
All four teams qualify for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
4 Melvine Malard (France)
3 Nicole Anyomi (Germany)
3 Vicki Becho (France)
3 Emilie Bragstad (Norway)
3 Melissa Kössler (Germany)
12 Sjoeke Nüsken (Germany)
10 Paulina Krumbiegel (Germany)
9 Vilja Dahl Pedersen (Denmark)
8 Romée Leuchter (Netherlands)
8 Jenny Olsen (Norway)
~France, now within one of Germany’s six Women’s U18/WU19 titles, reached a record tenth final, one ahead of Germany (who were also runners-up in the 1999 four-team round-robin).
~This was the first time since 2013 that Spain did not reach the final.
~France’s Vicki Becho was the first 15-year-old to score in the WU19 finals since Ada Hegerberg in 2011 and the youngest since Jordan Nobbs in 2008.
~Including qualifying, Germany scored 56 goals and conceded just six in 11 games: eight wins, two draws and their final defeat.
~Shekiera Martinez’s goal in the semi-finals for Germany added to her nine at the Women’s U17 EURO last year make her only the fourth player to reach ten goals in UEFA women’s youth final tournaments after Elena Danilova (Russia, 17), Lucía García (Spain, 11) and Kyra Malinowski (Germany, 10).