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All three of the British countries have gone out of the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championships, but two of them still have a big prize to play for.
England needed to win their final group match against France in order to qualify for the semi finals, but the resulting 1-0 defeat that they have ended up in third place. However, due to France being the hosts of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup next year, there is an extra place on offer from Europe in that tournament and England will therefore play-off against the team finishing third in Group A.
That team will be no less than Scotland, who also suffered a narrow 1-0 reverse at the hands of Spain and this result was enough to give them third place on goal difference, ahead of hosts Northern Ireland who were beaten 6-0 by Germany.
Coming into the match with a win and a defeat in their previous two Group B encounters, Mo Marley's side needed to defeat Les Bleues to prolong their stay at the Euros, and although they were on top throughout, they fell to Lina Boussaha's 88th minute winner.
England carved out a number of half chances but the closest they came to scoring was when Alessia Russo curled a second half free kick goalwards to force an excellent save from Mylene Chavas, who stretched to palm the ball over the bar. Megan Finnigan had a good opportunity blocked with fifteen minutes remaining, before Boussaha struck the late blow.
Scotland were in the same position as England in that a win would have been enough to take them through, and things remained nicely in the balance when the scoreline was goalless at half time.
However, ten minutes into the second half, Patricia Guijarro gave Spain the lead and despite a late Scotland rally, they were not able to get back on level terms and Spain closed the game out to book their place in the last four.
Northern Ireland meanwhile faced a very tough prospect in needing to beat Germany to stand any chance of going through and despite a battling performance from Alfie Wylie's side, the Germans proved too strong for them. In front of more than 1,700 fans at Ballymena, Klara Buhl scored twice along with Annalena Rieke, Kristin Kogel, Caroline Siems and Anna Gerhardt but Northern Ireland can reflect on their first ever appearance in the Finals of a major women's tournament with heads held high.
The fifth place play off will take place at Lurgan on Thursday evening (7pm) and the two semi finals are played on the same day. The Netherlands take on Spain and Germany play France in the other semi final.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Georgia Allen is surrounded by Pauline Dechilly and Sana Daoudi
(bottom) Brenna McPartlan slides in to tackle Kristin Kogel, watched by Klara Buhl
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