• Under-19 European Championship

France kids claim Euro U19 crown

ESPNsoccernet staff
July 31, 2010
France players celebrate their UEFA U19 Championship win © Getty Images

France's youngsters have redeemed the nation's football reputation by beating Spain 2-1 in the Under-19 European Championship final on home soil on Friday.

Substitute Alexandre Lacazette scored with five minutes left to complete a dramatic come-from-behind victory to restore some pride in France after the senior side's disgraceful World Cup campaign.

Spain had led after 18 minutes when Daniel Pacheco released a superbly weighted through ball from deep to allow Rodrigo to apply a quality finish. On track to replicate their senior team's World Cup heroics, Spain then continued to play flowing football and dominated the match until Gilles Sunu netted a fine lob against the run of play after a one-two with Yannis Tafer.

Impressive Chelsea prospect Gael Kakuta then capped a sensational tournament by taking on Spain's defence single-handedly, his mazy run ending in a shot palmed sideways by goalkeeper Alex. Kakuta chased down the rebound and then showed brilliant vision to chip a first time cross to the back post where he knew Lacazette would be waiting to nod home from close range.

France striker Cedric Bakambu told AFP: "It's magic, it's magnificent! For the second half, we told ourselves that we had nothing more to lose. We're at home, we'll give everything. Most of all, the fans were with us, and it was fantastic."

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