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Nahikari Garcia double-miss hands France Women's Euro U19 trophy in water-logged final

Garcia double-miss hands France Women's Euro U19 trophy in water-logged final

31/07/2016 at 21:00Updated 31/07/2016 at 23:06

Women's European Under-19s Championships Final, National Training Centre, Senec - France 2 (Geyoro 36', Katoto 66') Spain 1 (L. Garcia 84').

It was a tight game at the National Training Centre, Senec, between France and Spain in the Women's Under-19 European Championships, with the only real threat in the first half from Spain's Aitana Bonmati who hit the cross bar with a powerful half-volley

With the sky looking ominous and rain beginning to fall, Grace Geyoro struck in the 36th minute from Thea Greboval's assist to take France a goal up.

Playing out the dying moments of the first-half in torrential downpour, an elongated break ensued as grounds-men swept rain off the sodden pitch.

Just seven minutes into the second half and France were penalised after Estelle Cascarino brought Nahikari Garcia down in the box with a clip to the back of her heel, but as the rain got heavier once more, Garcia missed the opportunity to level for Spain.

In increasingly farcical conditions, players flailed around in puddles on the water-logged pitch as they struggled to play on through the rain.

France eventually reaped the rewards of the torturous conditions as Marie-Antoinette Katoto made her way past the Spain defence - left floored by one of the monumental puddles on the pitch - to score her sixth goal of the tournament in the 66th minute.

France women's under 19 squad for the European Championship

France women's under 19 squad for the European ChampionshipAFP

With six minutes remaining, Lucia Garcia made an energetic run at the French defence. Despite a powerful strike from inside the box, the ball almost ground to a halt in a pool of rainwater just in front of the goal line, but it edged over before France's defence could clear it.

In added time, Nahikari Garcia failed to take advantage of an almost open goal as rain once more interfered with play, kicking more water than ball as it skewed beyond the top-corner of the goal.

With just seconds left, there was no coming back from the miss, with Spain losing their third-successive final to hand France their fourth.

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