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Perfect Netherlands progress

Published: Tuesday 13 April 2010, 17.43CET
The Netherlands will join Spain and Germany in the finals after shrugging off England's challenge to top second qualifying round Group 1 while Sweden are looking well placed in Group 3.

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Published: Tuesday 13 April 2010, 17.43CET

Perfect Netherlands progress

The Netherlands will join Spain and Germany in the finals after shrugging off England's challenge to top second qualifying round Group 1 while Sweden are looking well placed in Group 3.

Only one place remains up for grabs at the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals after the Netherlands beat England 2-1 to finish five points clear at the top of Group 1.

The Netherlands had already beaten Italy and Serbia and now play Spain in the semi-finals in Nyon on 22 June having maintained a perfect second qualifying round record. It was not plain sailing for Maria van Kortenhof's side, however, with Katie Wilkinson giving England – who needed to win to progress – a 57th-minute lead. Captain Kelly Zeeman levelled the scores from the penalty spot just two minutes later and Sanne Schoenmakers won it for the Dutch in the 77th minute.

Italy and Serbia were already out of the running going into their fixture but it was the Group 1 hosts who triumphed 6-1 to end on a high. Marta Mason excelled for Italy and was one of five different scorers, captain Lisa Alborghetti the only player to register twice. "This is a great group which will speak for itself in the future," said Italy coach Enrico Sbardella.

The second round of fixtures in Group 3, postponed from Monday due to the death of Polish president Lech Kaczyński, also took place today. Nothing will be decided until Thursday's final round of games, but it is Sweden who hold way in the section thanks to a 6-0 win against Ukraine, with the group winners to face holders Spain in the last four.

Fridolina Rolfö struck twice in the space of four first-half minutes, with Petra Andersson, Jonna Andersson, Elin Rubensson and substitute Emma Holmgren also on the mark. "We are happy to have won both or games," said coach Marie Bengtsson.

The Republic of Ireland were held 1-1 by Poland but are just two points adrift and will qualify with a win against Sweden on the final matchday. Noel King's side went in front against Poland courtesy of Niamh McLaughlin's 11th-minute spot-kick but were forced to settle for a point following Marta Cichosz's equaliser.

Last updated: 12/11/12 17.19CET

http://www.uefa.com/womensunder17/news/newsid=1476055.html#perfect+netherlands+progress

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