France joined the Czech Republic in advancing from UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round Group 3 after defeating their already-qualified rivals 3-0 on Sunday.
Going into the final round of games, 2004 winners France needed a draw if hosts Israel were not to have the chance to overtake them for the second elite round berth. Israel did their best to go through with an 8-0 defeat of Liechtenstein, but the French made sure of their progress with a comfortable victory.
On the opening day, the home team were beaten 4-2 by the Czech Republic despite taking the lead, a Matěj Pulkrab hat-trick in a 13-minute spell either side of half-time transforming the game – though the win was not safe until substitute Ondřej Mihálik scored just after coming on in added time. As for Liechtenstein, the bulk of whose squad is aged 14 or 15, they performed creditably in holding France to a 2-0 loss, Romain Jamrozik and Enock Kwateng grabbing the goals.
Two days later, Israel led France 2-0 at half-time thanks to Raz Yizhak and Amit Zenati either side of an Allan Saint-Maximin penalty miss, but Ousmane Dembele scored two long-range efforts after the break to secure a 2-2 draw. That meant that the Czech Republic secured their place in the elite round with a 3-0 triumph over Liechtenstein.
Aleš Čvančara's charges nonetheless finished the pool as runners-up after succumbing by the same margin to France. Arnaud Lusamba got the ball rolling from the penalty spot before Saint-Maximin registered in both halves. The hosts signed off in style, Yizhak hitting a competition joint-record five goals in their victory against Liechtenstein.
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