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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Mitchell Weiser goal sees Germany edge Spain to clinch Euro under-21 title

Victory in Krakow, Poland is Germany's second title in the younger age group category.

Germany players celebrate with the under-21 European Championship trophy after victory in Krakow. Nils Petter Nilsson / Getty Images
Germany players celebrate with the under-21 European Championship trophy after victory in Krakow. Nils Petter Nilsson / Getty Images

Mitchell Weiser scored with a looping first-half header to hand Germany the under-21 European Championship title after a 1-0 win over Spain in the southern Polish city of Krakow on Friday.

It is Germany's second title in the age group following their triumph in 2009, while Spain failed to expand their collection of four titles.

Hertha Berlin winger Weiser sent a header arcing over Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the far corner on 40 minutes for his first goal of the tournament following a cross from right-back Jeremy Toljan.

Spain came into the final having claimed four wins in as many games at the tournament and manager Albert Celades went with the same team that started in the 3-1 semi-final victory over Italy.

Opposing manager Stefan Kuntz lost his leading striker Davie Selke to injury but welcomed back defender Niklas Stark, who had missed the semi-final drama against England when Germany won on penalties.

Spain started in high spirits, but Germany soon regained their composure to outplay their rivals in the first half.

Max Meyer headed against the post early on and Germany deserved the breakthrough when it arrived with the interval approaching, with Jesus Vallejo not getting close enough to Weiser as he met Toljan's cross.

Spain came out of the changing room more determined to attack in the second half, but the closest they came to equalising was a left-footed curler from Saul Niguez that was saved by Julian Pollersbeck.

At the other end, Meyer put through Serge Gnabry who failed to beat Arrizabalaga with a low shot.

Dani Ceballos then blasted a shot just past the post while Gerard Deulofeu's shot was cleared by the German defence which easily survived the inefficient Spanish pressure of the final minutes.

* Agence France-Presse