Report: Sweden 1-3 England WU17s
England WU17s qualify for the UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship semi-finals
Another brace from Michelle Agyemang and a goal from Ava Baker helped England WU17s beat Sweden 3-1 to ensure they qualified for the semi-finals of the UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship with a game to spare.
With France making it two wins from two on Wednesday afternoon and England securing maximum points in their opening match on Sunday, it meant the WU17s went into this afternoon’s game knowing a win would secure their progression.
And Agyemang scored in either half, to make it four goals in two games during the EURO, before Baker scored a classy third to guarantee the Young Lionesses will be in Tuesday’s semi-finals.
Focus now turns to Saturday’s match with France which will determine who tops Group B.
England almost took the lead on nine minutes when Agyemang was put through but Sweden goalkeeper Julia Cavander rushed outside the box, leading the striker to flick the ball past her and Baker’s shot towards the empty net was cleared by the recovering Smilla Holmberg.
Agyemang did score minutes later though when a well-worked free-kick saw Laila Harbert produce an excellent pass to release Sophie Harwood on the left and she squared for the Arsenal striker to make it three goals in two matches.
Sweden were more than a match for England in the first half though and almost equalised when Holmberg’s mis-hit cross nearly caught out England goalkeeper Sophia Poor, who tipped the ball onto the post.
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Another cross from the right by Holmberg did lead to the equaliser midway through the half though as England defender Katie Reid sliced the ball into the roof of the net.
Sweden had done reasonably well in containing the dangerous Agyemang in the first period but she grabbed her second goal of the game early in the second half when the striker timed her run perfectly to latch on to Lexi Potter’s through ball and flicked it over Cavander.
Millie Round thought she had scored her team’s third moments later but Baker was unable to keep the ball in play before cutting it back.
England were dominant at the start of the second half and Agyemang almost grabbed her hat-trick ten minutes into the second half but Cavander again raced out to save well.
Sweden fired a warning shot with 20 minutes remaining when substitute Nova Rolfsson ran through on goal and Poor had to produce a fine save to keep her team ahead.
England relieved some of the pressure with 17 minutes remaining though by scoring a third goal. A superb run from deep by Ria Bose created the space and when the ball rolled to Baker, the Leicester City youngster curled a long-range effort into the far, bottom corner.
As has been the case in the first two matches, Saturday's group decider with France (kick-off 11am BST) will be shown live on the BBC red button, iPlayer and website.
England: 1 Sophia Poor (Leicester City), 4 Laila Harbert (Arsenal), 5 Katie Reid (Arsenal), 6 Zara Shaw (Liverpool),7 Araya Dennis (Arsenal), 8 Lexi Potter (Chelsea) (c), 9 Michelle Agyemang (Arsenal), 11 Ava Baker (Leicester City), 16 Sophie Harwood (Southampton), 18 Erica Parkinson (SC Leixoes)
Substitutes: 10 Lola Brown (Chelsea) for Parkinson 57’, 2 Ria Bose (Chelsea), for Round 57’, 20 Isabella Fisher (Arsenal) for Agyemang 74’, 19 Vera Jones (Barry Town) for Dennis 82’
Substitutes not used: 13 Katie Cox (Chelsea), 3 Mari Ward (Bristol City), 14 Holly Deering (Manchester United), 15 Lucy Newell (West Bromwich Albion), 17 Ruby-Rae Tucker (Aston Villa)
Head coach: Mo Marley
Goals: Michelle Agyemang 12’, 49’, Ava Baker 73’