Match report: England WU19s 4-1 Norway
England women’s under-19s kicked off their U19 EUROs campaign with a 4-1 victory against Norway.
There was a familiar face in the opposition dugout as Norway Under-19s are currently coached by former England interim boss and Great Britain’s coach for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Hege Riise.
But there was little the Norwegian side could do about the Young Lionesses’ attacking threat as Aggie Beever-Jones bagged a brace, plus Jorja Fox and the impressive Grace Clinton scored fine goals, to ensure Gemma Davies’ side enjoyed a winning start in the Czech Republic.
This is the first UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship finals in three years after the previous two editions were cancelled because of the COVID pandemic.
The 2022 Women’s U19 EUROs started today and will run until July 9, with seven teams joining the hosts Czech Republic, with the competition consisting of two groups.
The top two sides in each group will then progress to the semi-finals on Tuesday 5 July before the final on Saturday 9 July.
England were first to have a shot at goal at the Mestský Stadion in Karvina, as Freya Gregory shot over the bar after Clinton’s interception in midfield.
And moments after Thea Kyvag forced Khiara Keating to parry a volley away, Clinton was again key as England took the lead.
The Everton forward controlled the throw-in before expertly rolling her defender and slipping the ball through to Beever-Jones in the penalty area, and the Chelsea forward cut inside on to her left foot, before smashing the ball past Selma Panengstuen.
Norway were a threat on the attack though and could have equalised soon after had it not been for Fox blocking Kyvag’s shot from close range and it was the Norway winger who had another great chance to score when she used her pace to get through on goal, only for her shot to be saved by Keating.
Clinton and Beever-Jones linked up once again when the goalscorer forced Panengstuen into a good save but Norway went straight up the other end and equalised seven minutes before the break, when Keating dropped a corner and Cathinka Friis Tandberg bundled home.
The Young Lionesses equalised just six minutes into the second period though when a clearance fell to Fox and after a one-two with Laura Blindkilde Brown, she ran into the penalty area and found the far, bottom corner with a neat finish from an acute angle.
Norway could have equalised when Keating palmed over Kyvag’s cross-shot and Clinton also would have scored had it not been for a last-ditch block, after some fine work from Symonds.
But as the teams entered the final 20 minutes, it was to be the pairing of Clinton and Beever-Jones who would combine to score the crucial third goal for England, as the latter lifted the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper for her second of the match.
Beever-Jones thought she had scored a hat-trick in consecutive matches when she rounded the goalkeeper soon after, only for the offside flag to be raised.
There was to be a fourth England goal though and it went to the deserving Clinton, as she produced a fine turn in the penalty area before finding the top corner with a left-footed shot.
England will now face Sweden on Thursday (kick-off 4.30pm) before taking on the most successful team in the competition’s history, Germany, on Sunday evening (kick-off 7pm) – it was Sweden who won their contest today 2-0.
The Young Lionesses have claimed the competition once before when the likes of Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes and Jordan Nobbs helped lift the trophy in 2009, and there were second-place finishes on three other occasions in 2007, 2010 and 2013.
The other group in this year’s competition includes hosts Czech Republic, France, Italy and Spain.
Highlights: England WU19s 4-1 Norway
See all the goals and the best of the action from Czech Republic as Young Lionesses kick-off their U19 EURO campaign with a win
England: 1 Khiara Keating (Manchester City), 2 Jorja Fox (Chelsea), 5 Ruby Mace (Manchester City), 6 Tara Bourne (Manchester United), 3 Anouk Denton (University of Louisville); 8 Maisie Symonds (Brighton and Hove Albion), 4 Charlotte Wardlaw (Chelsea) ©, 19 Laura Blindkilde Brown (Aston Villa); 7 Aggie Beever-Jones (Chelsea), 10 Grace Clinton (Everton), 11 Freya Gregory (Aston Villa)
Substitutes: 14 Mia Ross (Charlton Athletic) for Symonds 72’, 18 Lucy Watson (Sheffield United) for Gregory 79’, 20 Olivia McLoughlin (Aston Villa) for Beever-Jones 83’
Substitutes not used: 13 Natalia Negri (Unattached), 9 Emily Murphy (University of North Carolina), 12 Lucy Parry (Liverpool), 15 Neve Herron (Sunderland), 16 Caitlin Smith (Clemson University), 17 Lucia Kendall (Southampton)
Head coach: Gemma Davies
Goals: Aggie Beever-Jones 17’, 71’ Jorja Fox 51’
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