How appropriate that it fell to Caroline Siems to put the seal on Germany's penalty shoot-out victory over Spain in the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final in Borisov.
The dynamic little left-back had taken everything in her stride up until that climactic moment on 16 May 2016, and Siems belied the enormity of the situation by stepping up to positively smash her spot kick into the roof of the net. The resounding finish made it 3-2 to Germany and finally separated the best two teams of the tournament.
Conversely it was during the 0-0 matchday two draw with Italy that Siems had really served notice of her attacking prowess. The two-footed No3 was Germany's most dangerous offensive outlet that afternoon, her infield forays and ability to let fly from distance (or even much closer) catching the eye.
Anouschka Bernhard's charges, much like fellow finalists Spain, had such quality through their ranks that the full-backs could be an integral part of their forward play; in Germany's case, one deeper-lying midfielder released Siems, or Sarai Linder down the opposite flank. How the ever-present Siems relished the task.
The teenager, who celebrated her 17th birthday during the group stage in Belarus, was among the smaller members of a generally statuesque German side, whose physical formidability was matched by their capacity to overrun opponents from all angles. Vanessa Ziegler, Klara Bühl, Marie Müller and Tanja Pawollek all contributed to the ten-goal haul of the champions-elect; yet the energetic Siems was never overshadowed, remaining a more than equal partner in a team of many talents.
Giulia Gwinn and Janina Minge also converted successfully in the unfolding penalty drama at the Borisov-Arena, following the 80-minute stalemate with holders Spain. However, it was Siems who made a mockery of the ultimate test of nerve, confidently clinching Germany's fifth title from as many finals. It was entirely in keeping with her efforts throughout the championship.
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