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Formidable France march into Women's U17 finals

Published: Saturday 24 March 2012, 16.55CET
France became the first country to reach June's final tournament after their third consecutive 4-0 victory, Norway the victims this time in second qualifying round Group 2.
by Maarit Korhonen
from Kongsvinger
Formidable France march into Women's U17 finals
France celebrate one of their four goals against Norway on the final day in Group 2 ©UEFA.com
Published: Saturday 24 March 2012, 16.55CET

Formidable France march into Women's U17 finals

France became the first country to reach June's final tournament after their third consecutive 4-0 victory, Norway the victims this time in second qualifying round Group 2.

Two-time runners-up France are the first team into the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals after coming through a last-day second qualifying Group 2 decider against Norway.

Going into today's match in Kongsvinger, France led Norway on goal difference after both had defeated the Republic of Ireland and Poland. Les Bleuettes made it three 4-0 victories in succession, however, thanks to a goal in each half from Léa Declercq, taking her tally for the campaign to seven, and one apiece by Marion Romanelli and substitute Laura Blanchard.

Michelle Farrell scored the winner in the other game, punishing Joanna Bugajska's failure to hold a Katie McCabe free-kick, as the Republic of Ireland beat Poland 1-0 to finish third. France will play the winners of Group 1, which is staged next month, in the semi-finals on 26 June at the Colovray Stadium in UEFA's hometown of Nyon.

France were on top after the opening day, when they overcame Ireland 4-0, but were made to work and only when captain and key player Sandie Toletti gave them a 56th-minute lead were they able to close out the game against tiring opposition. Amalie Eikeland's strike gave Norway a 1-0 success against a Poland side who looked dangerous on the counter, home captain Lisa Naalsund impressing.

On Wednesday, France again struck four without reply, Toletti's 26th-minute penalty setting them on their way versus Poland, Blanchard scoring twice and Alexandra Atamaniuk making it safe. Norway ended the hopes of 2010 runners-up Ireland with a 2-0 victory, Eikeland and Cecilie Kvamme scoring before the break.

Last updated: 11/04/12 14.23CET

http://www.uefa.com/womensunder17/news/newsid=1772416.html#formidable+france+march+into+womens+u17+finals

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