France lead European quintet heading to Korea
Fresh off of their UEFA European U-19 Championship, France can now look forward to entering the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 as continental champions. Les Bleuets will make the trip to Asia along with fellow European sides Italy, England, Portugal and hosts Germany.
FIFA.com looks back over the key facts and figures from the recent European showcase.
162,972 supporters attended the 16 matches across ten different stadiums, smashing the previous record for a U-19 EURO. That figure was previously held by Ukraine after 100,455 spectators took in the 2009 finals, and the tone was set in Germany right from the start, as 55,000 attended the hosts' 1-0 loss to Italy in the opening match. Another bumper crowd witnessed the last game of the tournament, as France defeated Italy 4-0.
52 teams started out on the road to Germany in the initial qualifying phase. After the list of hopefuls was whittled down in the qualifying round and elite round, just seven sides were left to join the host nation in the tournament proper.
15 goals were scored by the eventual winners, more than double the tallies managed by England and Portugal (seven). France's Jean-Kevin Augustin won the individual scoring honours with six goals, one more than team-mate Kylian Mbappe, as the duo proved themselves the most clinical finishers across the competition. Les Bleuets boasted the meanest defence as well, conceding just four times.
6 goals hit the back of the net in the tournament's highest scoring game between Germany and the Netherlands. Fans of both teams were put through 120 minutes of intense emotions, with Phillipp Ochs breaking the deadlock for the hosts just before half-time. The real drama was yet to come, however, Abdelhak Nouri levelling as the clock ticked down and Dennis Van Der Heijden putting the Dutch ahead with just two minutes to go. Germany seemed destined for defeat, but Suat Serder was able to respond deep into added time, and Die Mannschaft regained the lead via Marvin Mehlem in the first half of extra time – only for Sam Lammers to restore parity yet again shortly after. Both teams then had chances to grab victory during the penalty shoot-out, before Benjamin Henrichs finally did precisely that to the joy of the locals. "In that type of situation, you don't think too much," Germany's hero told Eurosport at the end of the game. "Above all, you think about putting the ball in the net. Now we've qualified for the World Cup."
5 Knocked out in qualifying, Serbia will be unable to defend their world U-20 title in Korea Republic. Nevertheless, the Orlovi are far from the first side to fall short after conquering all comers. They join a quartet of nations who failed to book their place after winning the previous edition, along with 2007 champions Argentina, 2011 victors Brazil and 2013 top dogs France.
4 The play-off tie between Germany and the Netherlands featured a historic moment, Michel Vlap coming on for the Dutch to become the first ever fourth substitute used in a competitive match. The new rule, only applicable during extra time, was approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in March. "It's interesting to be able to make an additional change at that moment of the game," commented Germany coach Guido Streichsbier. "It makes the match more interesting and our fourth substitute nearly made the difference today. It's a good idea."
3 France clinched their third European title at U-19 level, adding this crown to their triumphs in 2005 and 2010. That took Les Bleuets into second place on the all-time roll of honour, ahead of two-time winners Germany and a trio of sides with one title apiece: Italy, Serbia and Ukraine. Spain remain the tournament's most successful side by some distance, however, having won the competition seven times before failing to get past the elite round this year.
0 Croatia exited the finals without picking up a single point. The Vatreni suffered a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands, a 2-0 defeat by France and a 2-1 reverse at the hands of England in Group B. Austria fared slightly better in Group A, collecting 1-1 draws with Portugal and Italy, but their heavy 3-0 loss to the hosts put an end to their World Cup qualifying dream.