Germany captures U-19 European Championship, tops Portugal in final
Make way for another trophy in the silverware cabinet at the German federation headquarters.
Just more than two weeks after Germany captured its fourth World Cup, the nation's Under-19 national team won the European Championship, ousting Portugal in the final in Hungary, 1-0. Hertha Berlin's Hany Mukhtar played the role of hero on Thursday, scoring the lone goal to secure the silverware. The goal was Mukhtar's second of the competition. His teammate, Werder Bremen's Davie Selke, won the tournament's golden boot with six goals.
Germany topped a group featuring Serbia, Ukraine and Bulgaria, going 2-0-1 in group play. Germany routed Austria in the semifinals 4-0 before emerging as champions against the Portuguese.
The title is Germany's second U-19 European title, and the second in the last six years. Only one player on that 2008 roster – goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler – was on Germany's World Cup-winning team, and he didn't play a minute in Brazil. Lars Bender was also on that team, but an injury prevented him from making Germany's World Cup roster.
Youth championships are not always harbingers of senior national team success, but while Germany's current batch of national team stars have plenty of time left before their international clock expires, manager Joachim Low – or his successor following the 2016 European Championship – certainly appears to have some fresh talent coming up the pipeline.