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Germany's young guns stun favourites Spain to edge Euro U21 crown

Mitchell Weiser’s first-half goal was enough to separate the sides.

Image: Nick Potts

Germany 1

Spain 0

MITCHELL WEISER’S LOOPING first-half header handed Germany the under-21 European Championship title, as they beat Spain 1-0 in Krakow this evening.

It is Germany’s second title in the age group following their triumph in 2009, while Spain failed to expand their collection of four titles.

Hertha Berlin winger Weiser sent a header arcing over Spanish keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the far corner on 40 minutes for his first goal of the tournament following a cross from right-back Jeremy Toljan.

Spain came into the final having claimed four wins in as many games at the tournament and coach Albert Celades went with the same team that started in the 3-1 semi-final victory over Italy.

Opposing coach Stefan Kuntz lost his leading striker Davie Selke to injury but welcomed back defender Niklas Stark, who had missed the semi-final drama against England when Germany won on penalties.

Spain started in high spirits, but Germany soon regained their composure to outplay their rivals in the first half.

Max Meyer headed against the post early on and Germany deserved the breakthrough when it arrived with the interval approaching, with Jesus Vallejo not getting close enough to Weiser as he met Toljan’s cross.

Serge Gnabry (GER), Marco Asensio (ESP) Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Spain came out of the changing room more determined to attack in the second half, but the closest they came to equalising was a left-footed curler from Saul Niguez that was saved by Julian Pollersbeck.

At the other end, Meyer put through Serge Gnabry who failed to beat Arrizabalaga with a low shot.

Dani Ceballos then blasted a shot just past the post while Gerard Deulofeu’s shot was cleared by the German defence which easily survived the inefficient Spanish pressure of the final minutes.

- AFP 2017

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