Report: Greece 0-2 England WU19s
Goals from Mia Enderby and Katy Watson help the Young Lionesses to victory in Cardiff
England WU19s kicked off their UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship qualifying campaign with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Greece.
Mia Enderby’s penalty and a goal from Katy Watson in the final ten minutes helped Amy Merricks’ side to victory at the Cardiff International Sports Campus on Tuesday afternoon.
The Young Lionesses are playing three games across seven days in south Wales as part of round one of qualifying for next summer’s UEFA Women’s U19 EURO.
Next up for the WU19s are hosts Wales on Friday (kick-off 6pm BST) at Dragon Park, the Wales National Football Centre, before taking on Czechia back at Cardiff International Sports Campus on Monday (kick-off 11am GMT).
The top three teams in each of the seven groups within League A after round one will be in with a chance of qualifying for the Finals in Lithuania next summer when they take part in round two of qualification, where they will be joined by the top teams from the groups in League B.
The seven League A group winners in round two will then join Lithuania in the eight-team Finals next summer.
England were rarely troubled by Greece defensively and created chances in either half, although they did find it hard to break down the opposition defence in the first half.
Ava Baker and Freya Godfrey forced Fafailia Petaloti into saves in the opening 45 minutes and Georgia Mullett almost rounded the goalkeeper but the Young Lionesses were unable to find the breakthrough.
In first-half injury-time, England goalkeeper Eve Annets had to save a long-range shot from Konstantina Kostopoulou but it was to be Greece’s only effort on target throughout the 90 minutes.
The Young Lionesses were much improved in the second half but it looked as though they would have to settle for a point heading into the final ten minutes, after Lexi Potter, Godfrey and substitute Poppy Pritchard all had efforts just miss the target and Kostopoulou saved well to deny Mullett.
But England scored what looked to be the deciding goal in the 83rd minute after Cerys Brown was brought down in the box and Liverpool’s Enderby stepped up to score in the bottom corner despite the best efforts of Kostopoulou.
Brown had an effort just go wide and captain Shauna Guyatt rattled the woodwork as England searched for a second goal late on.
Then in the final moments of extra-time, Watson rounded off the win when she scored from a tight angle after being played through by Pritchard.
Next up for Merricks’ side is a trip to Dragon Park, the Wales National Football Centre, on Friday to take on the hosts, with the game kicking off at 6pm.
England: 13 Eve Annets (Reading), 2 Ria Bose (Chelsea), 3 Cerys Brown (Chelsea), 5 Evie Rabjohn (Manchester United), 7 Freya Godfrey (Arsenal, loan to Charlton Athletic), 8 Shauna Guyatt (Crystal Palace) ©, 9 Georgia Mullett (Aston Villa), 10 Maddy Earl (Arsenal), 11 Ava Baker (Leicester City), 15 Alexia Potter (Chelsea, dual registered with Crystal Palace), 20 Katie Reid (Arsenal, dual registered with Watford)
Substitutes: 4 Ashanti Akpan (Chelsea) for Earl 46, 17 Mia Enderby (Liverpool) for Baker 46, 14 Poppy Pritchard (Durham) for Mullett 60, 18 Katy Watson (Sunderland) for Godfrey 72, 12 Lois Marley-Paraskevas (Manchester City, dual registered with Burnley) for Bose 72
Substitutes not used: 1 Katie Cox (Chelsea), 6 Lucy Newell (Manchester United, dual registered with West Bromwich Albion), 16 Jemima Dahou (Manchester City, dual registered with Blackburn Rovers), 19 Mari Ward (Bristol City)
Head coach: Amy Merricks
Goals: Mia Enderby 83 (p), Katy Watson 90+8
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