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Spain and Serbia take strides

Published: Thursday 29 October 2009, 8.18CET
Spain and Serbia progressed from Group 10 ahead of Russia in a tight contest. Serbia coach Darko Stojanović said: "Now we are through, we will work much harder and dream that miracles can happen twice."
Spain and Serbia take strides
Serbia celebrate their 2-1 win against Russia ©FSS
Published: Thursday 29 October 2009, 8.18CET

Spain and Serbia take strides

Spain and Serbia progressed from Group 10 ahead of Russia in a tight contest. Serbia coach Darko Stojanović said: "Now we are through, we will work much harder and dream that miracles can happen twice."

Spain and Serbia made their way through from UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship first qualifying round Group 10 ahead of Russia as the last of the mini-tournaments was completed.

Russia denied
Last season's runners-up Spain and Serbia were a point in front of Russia ahead of the concluding games. The Iberians beat Russia 3-0 to finish top on goal difference ahead of a Serbia side who progressed among the six runners-up with the best record against the sides first and third in their pool following their 12-0 win against Armenia.

Comebacks
Russia made a spectacular start, defeating Armenia 19-0 including five Snezhana Kobeleva goals. Hosts Serbia scored twice early on against Spain through Jovana Damnjanović but it was to finish 2-2 thanks to Lorena De Castro on 38 and 67 minutes. Two days later Spain won 21-0 against Armenia, Iraia Pérez de Heredia and Paloma Lazaro both scoring six times. Snezhana Kobeleva gave Russia a seventh-minute lead against Serbia but Aleksandra Savanović equalised just after half-time and Ana Lilić's penalty secured a 2-1 victory for the home nation.

Duo through
Serbia now knew a victory against Armenia would guarantee progress and Savanović, Damnjanović and Lilić led the way with hat-tricks to confirm their berth in the second qualifying round in spring. Spain made sure of their place in the 16 December draw as Amanda Sampedro and Laura Gutiérrez, two of the six squad members from last season still eligible this term, struck in the first half against Russia before substitute Paloma confirmed victory.

Spain satisfied
Spain coach Jorge Vilda said: "I am very satisfied with victory against Russia and gaining first place in the group. This is a great experience for these young girls and good preparation for the second round. We will do our best to qualify for the European Championship, but this will be very difficult challenge."

Serbian 'miracle'
Darko Stojanović, the Serbia coach, added: "Before the tournament started, we just wanted to play the best we could. We hoped that we can perform a miracle and we did it. Honestly, we didn't expect this result now, as we were preparing next year's qualifiers. Now we are through, we will work much harder and dream that miracles can happen twice."

Last updated: 30/10/09 10.36CET

http://www.uefa.com/womensunder17/news/newsid=911778.html#spain+serbia+take+strides

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