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Published 24 March 2022 6 min read
Women's U17

Report: England WU17s 1-2 France

Written by:

Frank Smith

Keira Barry's goal and England WU17s' late fight-back unable to deny France victory in the opening match of their Women’s Under-17 European Championship qualifying group

A late fightback from England women’s under-17s could not stop France from winning the teams’ opening EURO round two qualifier 2-1 in Poland.

The two sides faced off at the Stadion Miejski Niepolomice on Thursday morning in the first of their Women’s Under-17 European Championship round two qualifying matches.

First-half goals from Julie Swierot and Shana Chossenotte meant France led for most of the match.

Manchester United’s Kiera Barry scored with six minutes of normal time remaining to set up a tense finish but despite some late England chances, the French were able to hold on for the three points.

Next up for the Young Lionesses will be Poland on Sunday 27 March (2.00pm kick-off CET) before rounding off the group against Croatia on Wednesday 30 March (11.00am kick-off CET). 

Only the winners of the group with qualify for this summer’s Women’s Under-17 European Championship in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

England had the first chance of note on Thursday morning when a direct ball to Ava Baker saw the Leicester City forward have a right-footed shot saved by France goalkeeper Feerine Belhadj.

Brooke Aspin captained the Young Lionesses against France
Brooke Aspin captained the Young Lionesses against France

A couple of minutes later the Young Lionesses threatened once again before an offside decision was given but it was to be France who scored the game’s opening goal just before the quarter-of-an-hour mark, when Lucie Calba’s corner was headed in by Swierot.

England goalkeeper Hannah Poulter saved Tara Elimbi Gilbert’s 25-yard shot midway through the half but Cécile Locatelli’s side did grab their second goal a minute later when superb play from Swierot helped Chossenotte score.

England continued to look for a way back into the game, with Maddy Earl close to getting an effort away, but France had the better of the chances just before the break, as Elimbi Gilbert shot wide after being put through and Ines Belmiliani forced a save from Reading’s Poulter.

England’s goalkeeper was also called upon almost immediately following the interval as she denied Chossenotte when one-on-one.

England went close to scoring midway through the second period when Aston Villa’s Evie Rabjohn struck the bar from a corner and France goalkeeper Belhadj was then called into action three times in quick succession.

First captain Brooke Aspin had a goal-bound header saved and then a couple of minutes later, a long through-ball to Baker saw the forward use her pace only to be denied by Belhadj, who then saved again from another shot by the Leicester City attacker.

France continued to pose a threat and Laureen Oillic would have got a shot away had it not been for a tackle by Aspin.

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But England did get on the scoresheet with six minutes remaining when substitute Barry scored from a Rabjohn free-kick.

In the final minute of normal time, the Young Lionesses had a great chance to equalise when Aspin headed wide from a great free-kick by Arsenal’s Keira Flannery.

France goalkeeper Belhadj had to save from Flannery and Mia Enderby during six minutes of injury-time but France held on for the victory.

England: 13 Hannah Poulter (Reading): 19 Jessica Simpson (Manchester United), 17 Evie Rabjohn (Aston Villa), 3 Brooke Aspin (Bristol City) ©, 18 Katie Ramsden (Leeds United); 20 Mackenzie Smith (Leicester City), 12 Shauna Guyatt (Chelsea), 11 Keira Flannery (Arsenal); 10 Maddy Earl (Arsenal), 4 Ava Baker (Leicester City), 2 Michelle Agyemang (Arsenal) 

Substitutions: 16 Lexi Potter (Chelsea) for Smith 51, 5 Keira Barry (Manchester United) for Agyemang 64, 6 Ria Bose (Chelsea) for Ramsden 80, 9 Mia Enderby (Sheffield United) for Guyatt 80

Substitutions not used: 1 Grace Pilling (Manchester City), 7 Grace Ede (Sunderland), 8 Jemima Dahou (Manchester City), 14 Lois Marley-Paraskevas (Manchester City), 15 Jessica Osborne (Florida Elite Soccer Academy)

Goal: Keira Barry 84

Booking: Jessica Simpson 78

Head coach: John Salomon