Germany won the U-17 FIFA World Cup football final in Indonesia on Saturday, defeating France 4-3 in a penalty shootout after drawing 2-2 in the game’s regular time.
With the win, Germany became the first team to win the world and European age titles in the same year.
The match went to extra time when the teams were unable to break a 2-2 deadlock in humid conditions in Surakarta on Java Island.
The young Germans then held their nerve in the penalty shootout to beat the Blues and win their first Under-17 world title in a rematch of this year’s European Championship final, which they also won on penalties.
Goalkeeper Konstantin Heide was the German hero, saving two penalties before Borussia Dortmund’s Almugera Kabar scored the decisive spot-kick to seal the shootout 4-3.
Germany missed two penalties but France also missed two to let their opponents back into the shootout before Tidiam Gomis missed the penultimate shot.
Germany opened the scoring in the 29th minute, with striker Paris Brunner scoring from a penalty kick.
FC Barcelona attacking midfielder Noah Darvich scored a second goal for Germany in the 51st minute.
France replied three minutes after Darvich’s goal through Monaco’s Saimon Bouabre, who cut into the penalty area and shot across the unsighted Heide.
France were then given a one-man advantage when Germany midfielder Winners Osawe received a red card in the 69th minute, and was sent off for diving in on Ismail Bouneb while already on a yellow card, forcing his team to desperately defend their lead with a man down.
The Blues continued to apply pressure and it paid off when Mathis Amougou scored a tap-in in the 85th minute.
A staunch German defence then held out for the penalty shootout that would secure them the title, succeeding 2019 champions Brazil.
The win makes this Germany’s first title in the history of the tournament, having previously placed as runners-up in 1985 and in third place in 2007 and 2011.
France won the title in 2001 and finished in third place in 2019.
Brunner was awarded the Golden Ball for his stellar performances throughout the tournament. He rose to the occasion when the stakes were high as he netted a brace in the semi-final against Argentina and also in the title decider.
Regarding other awards for this year’s edition of the youth competition, Argentina’s Agustin Ruberto won the tournament’s Golden Boot as the player with the most goals, with eight in total. Mali’s Ibrahim Diarra had the most assists, with four.
Meanwhile, French goalkeeper Paul Argney was awarded the Golden Glove for his safe hands between the sticks.
Brunner showcased his exceptional talent as the joint-top scorer of the U17 Euros, earning him the prestigious gold Fritz Walter medal – the highest youth award in Germany for his age group. In the U19 Bundesliga, the 17-year-old has demonstrated his goal-scoring prowess, netting 10 times in just eight games this season.
The U17 World Cup often gives fans a glimmer of future superstars. Brunner and Ruberto have stolen the spotlight with their performances in the attacking third and it remains to be seen if any of the European elites go after their signature in the upcoming winter transfer window.