"Did you see? We didn't let them create any chances," said Spain coach Jorge Vilda as he tried to fathom how his team had succeeded in taming a Germany side he had earlier predicted, with a furrowed brow, would be "very difficult opponents" in the Arena Biel/Bienne showpiece.
He need not have been so concerned ahead of a final his team played with authority and, above all, a tactical awareness and understanding which rendered his earlier caution superfluous. "Germany are favourites, because of all the trophies they have won," Vilda had said on the eve of the final. "But we're going to do our best. I'm sure the players will be at 100%."
That they were, and this high level of condition could be ascribed as one of the factors for why they emerged triumphant and retained their UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship title, becoming the first nation to win both Under-17 and Under-19 titles in the same year, thanks to a goal from a 17-year-old who had only earned her first international call-up for the final tournament in Switzerland.
"It's a dream come true, I'm really proud of my team," said match-winner María Llompart, the 26th different goalscorer at the finals. "We've achieved our goal and we're really, really happy."
They had to work hard in hot conditions in Biel to get their hands on the trophy for the second year running and third time in total, though, and become the first nation to win both Under-17 and Under-19 titles in the same year after defeating familiar foes Germany – the same rivals their junior category had also beaten in the final in Lithuania in May – 1-0 in Biel, Switzerland.
Germany underlined their strong defensive organisation which had helped them reach the final, with a midfield pressing which forced their opponents out to the wing. Their game plan was predominantly one of caution, though, with five players securing the defence and five supporting the attack, with play being built through the centre.
Spain worked hard to find gaps, with good off-ball movement and vision, the use of pace and influential individuals. However, despite being comfortable on the ball and confident in their actions, clear opportunities remained hard to come by, as they switched play from side to side, seeking an outlet (see image).
As they got closer to breaking the deadlock, but also closer to the final whistle, a free-kick in a dangerous position provided an ideal opportunity ten minutes from time. Llompart stood over the ball, but so too did Olga Carmona.
"You're taking it," gestured Vilda from the touchline. "Me?" asked Llompart, seemingly surprised to be the chosen one. It was an inspired choice.
She looped a dipping shot over the wall and past the flailing arm of Germany number one Stina Johannes. A set-piece had sealed Spain's win.
"To score the goal, I just felt a lot of emotion – I’m dreaming! We've created a really amazing team, we deserve this trophy," said Llompart, the 17-year-old who only earned her first international call-up for the final tournament in Switzerland.
She, like the majority of her team-mates, will be eligible to return in 2019, when Spain will go in search of a sixth-straight final appearance having set a new tournament record with their fifth.
A hat-trick of consecutive triumphs could be theirs in Scotland having asserted their authority in Biel, and sparked the latest rendition of La Roja Baila – Spain's national team anthem since EURO 2016: their victory tune.