Spain dominated holders Germany 2-1 to win the European under-21 championship title for a record-equaling fifth time in Udine on Sunday (June 30), as Fabian Ruiz and Dani Olmo scored in either half. Ruiz rifled in the first after just seven minutes at the Stadio Friuli in northeastern Italy, with Olmo adding the second on 69 minutes to avenge their 1-0 defeat to Germany in the final two years ago.
Nadiem Amiri pulled a goal back two minutes from time, but it failed to ignite a revival for the defending champions. Spain reclaim the title they last won in 2013 and join Italy as the only nation to have won the tournament five times.
“Obviously we’re not happy we didn’t win but Spain were better,” said Germany coach Stefan Kuntz. “We didn’t start the match very well, Spain played very, very tough, and obviously in a final players are always a bit nervous. After the first goal we tried to pick up our game. “When we conceded the second goal it was psychologically hard, but we showed them after that we could be dangerous.”
The Spanish controlled the match with top tournament scorer Luca Waldschmidt of Bundesliga club Freiburg pegged back and unable to add to his tally of seven goals to achieve a new record. “We played a good tournament until the final. To lose the final hurts a lot,” said Waldschmidt. “We’ll look to the future and prepare for the next challenges.”
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