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Women's Football News
Women's football became a major talking point this week after one of the most bizarre moments in the history of the game, involving an England match.
It all started with England's opening match of their UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship Elite Qualifying Round group against Norway. Trailing 2-1 in the final minute of injury time, Rosella Ayane having scored their goal, England were awarded a penalty. Leah Williamson duly stepped up and scored, only for the referee to rule it out for encroachment and award Norway a free kick.
Perhaps England vented their frustrations out on group hosts Northern Ireland as they ran out 9-1 winners. Natasha Flint led the scoring with a hat-trick, Williamson netted two penalties and there was one goal apiece from Jodie Brett, Sarah Mayling, Katie Zelem and Millie Turner.
The came the news that the FA's appeal had been upheld, with UEFA ruling that the laws of the game had been incorrectly applied over the disallowed penalty and that it would have to be retaken, meaning that the two teams would have to reconvene and retake the penalty, as well as playing out the last 16 seconds of the match.
First of all though, England had to play their final group match against Switzerland and they set themselves up with a chance to qualify with a 3-1 victory. Jenna Dear scoerd twice and Williamson added the other, once again from the penalty spot.
Norway had beaten Northern Ireland 8-1 in the other game, meaning that a successful retaken penalty would see them qualify for the Finals in Israel this summer.
This left incredible pressure on Williamson as she had had a long time to focus on the penalty against Norway later that evening. The Arsenal youngster displayed remarkable calm to tuck the ball home and England duly saw out the last few seconds to book their place in Israel in unique circumstances. It was also Williamson's fourth penalty scored in the group stages - surely some kind of record?
The penalty was shown live on Sky Sports News and Leah Williamson has become one of the best known players in the country, appearing on the back pages of several newspapers, trending on Twitter, the focus of much media attention and a name on the lips of supporters around the country.
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