Report: England WU19s 5-2 Belarus
Young Lionesses moved a step closer to U19 EURO qualification with this result and now head into a crunch clash with Spain on Tuesday
England women’s under-19s improved their hopes of securing U19 EURO qualification with an emphatic 5-2 win over Belarus.
England had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Slovenia in their opening match on Wednesday despite dominating most of the contest, meaning they went into today’s game two points behind Spain, who had beaten Belarus 8-0 in their fixture.
With only the top team in each qualifying group progressing to the eight-team Women’s Under-19 Championship finals in Belgium, England knew they needed to beat Belarus this morning to increase their chances of qualification.
The impressive win over Belarus means England move top of Group A4 for the time being on four points, with Spain one point behind and their game in hand against Slovenia taking place this afternoon.
The Young Lionesses had developed a three-goal lead inside the opening 26 minutes at Colovray sports centre in Nyon this morning.
Freya Godfrey, who is currently playing for Ipswich Town on a dual registration with Arsenal, took the lead on 11 minutes when she weaved through the Belarus defence to score from the edge of the box.
Three minutes later, Evie Rabjohn played Katy Watson through and the Sunderland forward passed it across goal for Alex Hennessy to score.
Godfrey then had her second goal of the game midway through the half when her initial half-volley was blocked but she regathered to score.
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Belarus showed they were still in the contest less than a minute later though when captain Liya Tsikhamirava made it 3-1.
But Emme Coates’ side had extended their advantage to four goals by the interval, with Hennessy and Lucia Kendall both finding the net just before the break.
There was a special moment for Leyla O’Brien on the hour, as she replaced Godfrey for what was her international debut.
England continued to press for more goals, ending the match on 21 shots to Belarus’ five, but they were unable to add more in the second half and Belarus grabbed another consolation strike in the 82 minute through Darya Markava.
The Young Lionesses will now await the score of this afternoon’s game between Spain and Slovenia before taking on the Spanish in their final Group A4 clash on Tuesday, with kick-off 1.15pm.
England: 13 Faye Kirby (Liverpool), 4 Annie Hutchings (Blackburn Rovers, dual registered with Manchester City), 5 Naomi Layzell (Bristol City), 8 Lucia Kendall (Southampton), 11 Freya Godfrey (Ipswich Town, dual registered with Arsenal), 12 Katie Dungate (Chelsea), 14 Evie Rabjohn (Aston Villa), 16 Grace Palmer (Lewes), 17 Alex Hennessy (Charlton Athletic), 18 Katy Watson (Sunderland), 20 Grace Gillard (Syracuse University)
Substitutes: 7 Mia Enderby (Sheffield United) for Rabjohn 46, 3 Mackenzie Smith (Nottingham Forest, dual registered with Leicester City) for Layzell 46, 19 Leyla O’Brien (MK Dons, dual registered with Arsenal) for Godfrey 60, 15 Emily Brough (Clemson University) for Kendall 68, 9 Elysia Boddy (Bristol City) for Watson 79
Substitutes not used: 1 Khiara Keating (Coventry United, on loan from Manchester City), 2 Lucy Parry (Hibernian, on loan from Liverpool), 10 Olivia McLoughlin (Birmingham City, on loan from Aston Villa)
Head coach: Emma Coates
Goals: Freya Godfrey 11,26, Alex Hennessy 14, 40, Lucia Kendall 43