France qualified for the UEFA European Under-17 Championship after a last-day 3-1 win against Sweden gave them first place in elite round Group 1.
Going into the final day, France led their opponents by two points, with Sweden needing victory to progress. The mini-tournament hosts completed their third win of the section, though, to earn a place in Wednesday's Ljubljana draw for the tournament in Slovenia from 4 to 16 May.
Whereas 2004 winners France were aiming for a sixth straight qualification, Sweden had never previously made it to the U17 finals. Jean Corentin struck for the second straight game to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time in the hosts' favour. Anthony Martial doubled the lead in the 62nd minute and although substitute Arber Zeneli got one back, Wesley Said also came off the bench to restore the two-goal advantage.
The gloss was slightly taken off the job done by Jean-Claude Giuntini's side by two late straight red cards for Franck Bambock and Pierre Ertel. In the other final Group 1 game, Italy picked up their first win against point-less Switzerland. All three goals in the 2-1 victory came in the last 10 minutes, Gennaro Tutino hitting the winner.
It was Sweden who led the way after the opening day thanks to a 2-0 defeat of Switzerland. On five minutes Christian Kouakou pounced on a cross parried by Switzerland goalkeeper Leonard Kiener and passed for Muamer Tankovic to tap in.
Tankovic got the second 15 minutes later with a high shot after a goalmouth scamble and Sweden held on after Malek Iskander's red card. France overcame Italy 1-0 thanks to substitute Mohamed Chemlal, deciding a tight game by turning in Hervin Ongenda's cross with nine minutes left, not long before dismissals for Seko Fofana and Filippo Costa reduced both teams to ten men.
Two days later Italy were held 0-0 by Sweden, for whom Edvard Setterberg saved brilliantly from Jonathan Ferrante early on while at the other end Christian Kouakou twice was unable to beat Luca Lezzerini when through. That ended the hopes of Italy and also Switzerland, who fell 2-1 to France.
Corentin, an early substitute, made it 1-0 on 19 minutes with a fine individual goal and just before the break Martial's curling shot gave him his sixth of the U17 campaign. Switzerland substitute Shani Tarashaj pulled one back on the counter with 12 minutes left and suddenly the game turned but France held out.
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