Germany claims record sixth straight Euro title
SOLNA, Sweden - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoGoalkeeper Nadine Angerer saved two penalties to help Germany win a record sixth consecutive women’s European Championship with a 1-0 success against Norway in Solna on July 28.
Substitute Anja Mittag scored the only goal just a few minutes after being introduced from the bench at the beginning of the second period but the true star of the show was Angerer.
She deflected Trine Ronning’s first half spot-kick away with her knee before thwarting Solveig Gulbrandsen in the second half.
Those two crucial stops meant Mittag’s close range tap-in from a pinpoint cross from Celia Okoyino da Mbabi was enough to help the Germans avenge a shock group stage defeat.
“Of course it’s a great feeling, especially as many didn’t expect us to win this title,” Germany coach Silvia Neid told uefa.com, reserving special praise for her heroine ‘keeper.
“I met Nadine Angerer in November and we had a long conversation. We met again in February and she had worked hard during the winter break. You could see that she was much better when it came to her ability to jump and physical flexibility. This tournament and this match are the reward for the hard work she did during the winter break,” she said.
Germany has now won eight of the 11 women’s Euro events and have not failed to lift the trophy since Norway’s 1993 triumph.
It was a richly deserved victory as Leonie Maier hit the bar with a looping header in the opening minutes and near the end Nadine Kessler bobbled a scuffed effort against the base of the upright.
They dominated throughout but Norway had their chances, not least from the penalty spot.
In the first half Catherine Dekkerhus crumpled to the turf under Okoyino da Mbabi’s challenge but Ronning couldn’t find the net. Caroline Hansen was the next to hit the ground after in the second period but again Angerer proved equal to Gulbrandsen’s penalty.
Norway had the ball in the net soon after but Ada Hegerberg had strayed offside when slotting home Maren Mjelde’s cross.
It was the fourth time twice previous winners Norway had lost to Germany in the final after defeats in 1989, 1991 and 2005.
Norway boss Even Pellerud refused to single anyone out over the missed spot-kicks.
“This is not the time to blame anyone or think too much. Sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t,” said the 60-year-old.
Norwegian defender Maren Mjelde sought to take the positives out of the painful loss.
“We have done a really good job in this tournament. We made it to the final - we hoped for gold, now it’s silver. Now I’m really disappointed, but tomorrow, everybody will be glad and satisfied with what we have done here. This was a good start to something good.”