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England 6 (Rouse 10, Clarke 33, Primus 35, Kelly 47, Hassall pen 52, Porter 60)
Portugal 1 (Ferreira 40)
att: 1,931; at Burton Albion F.C.
England stormed into the semi finals of the UEFA Under-17 Championships with an emphatic victory over Portugal in which six different players found the net.
Lois Fidler's side went into the game needing a draw to book their place in the last four but they got there in style and now take on Group B winners Spain on Thursday.
England made two changes to the side which beat Austria 2-1 on Friday. The unfortunate Ashleigh Plumptre has been ruled out of the Finals through injury and Brogan McHugh has been called up to the squad, with Atlanta Primus coming in to the starting line up along with Lucy Porter who replaced Sophie Stamp.
England got the breakthrough they craved on the ten minute mark when a good move ended with Atlanta Primus releasing an overlapping Jemma Purfield down the left and the full back's cross picked out an unmarked Mollie Rouse who stabbed home from close range.
Chloe Kelly almost made it two when she burst through on goal and held off the attentions of Ines Silva before her shot was fingertipped wide by Catarina Barradas.
England were not to be denied though and they soon doubled their lead. This time it was the other full back, Alice Halsall, who was the provider as her low centre was turned home from 15 yards by Evie Clarke.
Before Portugal could recover, England went further ahead just two minutes later as Clarke's far post cross picked out Primus who beat Barradas with a firm downward header.
Portugal did come up with a stunning reply with the last kick of the first half. Rita Chegancas' cross into the area was half cleared by Leah Williamson but it was returned with interest by Carolina Ferreira who gave Kirstie Levell no chance with a 20-yard half volley which found the top corner.
England were undaunted by the late setback though and restored the three-goal advantage early in the second half. Walsh threaded a through ball into the path of Clarke and although her initial shot was blocked by Barradas, Kelly followed up to slide home the rebound.
Kelly could well have increased the lead from a great crossfield pass by Alice Hassall and the same two combined again moments later. Hassall's low ball into the area picked out Kelly who was brought down in the process of rounding Barradas and a penalty was awarded. The keeper was shown the red card and Hassall stepped up to sidefoot her shot firmly into the corner of the net.
Portugal would not give up and it took a fine save from Levell who got down low to push away a well struck free kick by Silva. England continued to attack with confidence though and a set piece led to their next goal, a Primus corner being headed in powerfully at the far post by Porter.
Ellie Wilkinson dragged a shot wide after outpacing the Portugal defence but with the job done, England coasted through the final ten minutes with Thursday's semi final in mind. England's performances are gathering momentum as the tournament goes on and, although Spain will present a huge challenge, they will approach the match high on confidence.
England: Kirstie Levell, Alice Hassall (sub Rebecca Lloyd 65mins), Jemma Purfield (sub Ella Williams 65mins),Mollie Rouse, Leah Williamson, Gabriella George, Evie Clarke, Lucy Porter, Chloe Kelly, Keira Walsh (sub Ellie Wilkinson 53mins), Atlanta Primus. Subs not used: Sian Rogers, Phillipa Cowley, Brogan McHugh.
Portugal: Catarina Barradas, Sara Monteiro, Mariana Fong, Ines Silva, Diana Gomes, Nadine Cordeiro (sub Ana Oliveira 51mins), Rita Chegancas (sub Josephine Monteiro 75mins), Susana Silva, Francisca Cardoso, Carolina Ferreira (sub Margarida Sousa 40mins), Leandra Pereira. Subs not used: Sofia Silva, Margarida Machado, Claudia Tecedeiro, Barbara Azevedo.
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