Scotland advanced to the second qualifying round of the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship by winning Group 7 with a perfect record.
Victories against Romania and hosts Austria ensured Scotland had clinched first place even before today's 2-0 defeat of Ukraine. Romania finished second but cannot go through as one of the five best runners-up in the ten first qualifying round groups.
Caroline Weir got Scotland going with the only goal in a tense opening match against Romania in Lindabrunn. "The score wasn't decisive enough," said Scotland coach Pauline Hamill. "We weren't sharp enough at finishing our attacks." Her team were joined at the top of the nascent table by Austria after the mini-tournament hosts edged out Ukraine 1-0.
Austria could not keep the Scots at bay on Matchday 2, however, and went down to a 3-1 defeat – Weir scoring two more – which left Hamill's side through as Romania were 2-0 victors against Ukraine. Austria and Romania were within three points but both had already lost to Scotland. Ukraine were to finish point-less after losing 2-0 to Scotland, Siobhan Hunter scoring in either half to leave her team top with nine points, five clear of Austria and Romania after they drew their final fixture 0-0.
"I think the players have been absolutely fantastic throughout the whole tournament, everything I've asked them to do they've done with passion," Hamill said. "It's brilliant that we're in the second phase. All the games presented us with a different challenge and Ukraine were really tough opponents to break down.
"All the teams in this tournament have been good which makes it an even better feeling to beat them all and advance with nine points. We worked well as a team. We have a strong group of 18 players who all played as a team, and with this team spirit you can achieve the performances and results like we did."
So, what are her ambitions for the 16-team second qualifying round, drawn on 16 November? "We'll see as it depends on the draw," Hamill continued. "There's a big break until the next round is played. We'll definitely get prepared for all our opponents in the group and do our best but it's too early to talk about ambitions. We'll wait for the draw and take it from there"
Scotland captain Mairead Fulton added: "We played good, speedy football here in Austria. It was a great experience for all of us and we are very happy after winning all three matches. We will now enjoy our success."
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