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Sports

France beats Germany to win U17 European Championships

The best of Germany's U17 pool went down 4-1 to France in Bulgaria. Les Bleus have now won their second title at this age level after winning on home soil in 2004.

Paris-Saint Germain's Odsonne Edouard scored a hat-trick as France beat Germany 4-1 in the final of the U17 European Championships in Bulgaria.

Despite a second-half recovery from Christian Wück's side, Edouard's 70th minute goal capped off an impressive performance from the center-forward who finished as tournament top goalscorer with eight. Gokhan Gül netted at the wrong end in stoppage time to rub salt into Germany's wounds.

The DFB's current crop was eager to walk in the footsteps of Mario Götze and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen who won the competition in 2009. This final pitted the 'best attack vs. the best defense' - in the words of Borussia Dortmund's Felix Passlack - with Wück's side keeping five clean sheets so far.

France's attacking strengths were clear from the first-whistle. Christian Frommann denied Nanitamo Ikone whose gangly running style was a threat on the left-flank.

Meanwhile, Germany's offensive duo of Johannes Eggestein and Niklas Schmidt - both players on the books of Werder Bremen - combined for Germany's strongest chance of the half.

Eggestein outmusculed his opponent before cutting the back for Schmidt whose shot was poorly-weighted and off target. Seconds later, the 17-year-old frontman knocked the ball down to Passlack whose first-time half-volley sailed wide of the target.

Dominant Les Bleus

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But France struck when Germany was cold to end the first period on the front-foot - the cross from right-back Georgen was dummied by Boutobba before PSG's Edouard sweeped home with his right-foot.

Edouard notched his second of the game seven minutes after the restart, a bruising, powerful effort, charging through the heart of the Germany defense and beating Frommann from close range.

But Germany found some hope on 50 minutes when Luca Zidane - the son of Zinedine Zidane - flapped at a header from Eggestein and the ball looped into the corner of the net.

The goal invigorated Germany momentarily until Edouard clipped the ball nonchalantly over Frommann with 10 minutes of the 80-minute-long match remaining.

As Germany pushed for the win, mistakes were inevitable in defense and Gül's own goal was hardly game-changing but left Wück's talented side with a sore loss as France collected the trophy.