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Germany made a winning start to the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship as they defeated Scotland 4-2 in the opening Group B fixture in Hinckley.
Saskia Meier opened the scoring for Anouschka Bernard's team and with captain Jasmin Sehan adding two more, they led 3-0 at half-time against the tournament newcomers. To their credit, Scotland rallied in the second period with Kirsty Howat and Alyshia Walker narrowing the deficit before Sehan's hat-trick strike wrapped up the victory.
The first half was a brutal baptism for Pauline Hammill's Scotland side. Germany, three-time winners of this tournament, were physically stronger and better in possession and were soon in front. Michaela Specht hit the post and with Scotland unable to clear their lines, Meier struck a low shot past the right hand of Rebecca Flaherty. The powerful Sehan then made it 2-0 with a rising drive from the right of the box that flew inside the far post.
Walker, Scotland's leading scorer in qualifying, spurned the Scots' only first-half chance when she burst down the right but shot wide. At the other end Flaherty saved well from Laura Widak and Ricarda Walkling but was helpless when a corner fell to Sehan and she buried a close-range finish.
Yet Scottish heads did not drop, and after centre-back Courtney Whyte's free-kick had grazed the crossbar, Howat capitalised on a defensive mix-up to pull a goal back. The contest really did come alive seven minutes later when Erin Cuthbert played in Walker and she beat Vivien Brandt with a lovely near-post finish.
However, Sehan ended any doubt about the outcome with three minutes remaining. Flaherty had just foiled her at close range but from the ensuing corner the big striker sent a looping header over the goalkeeper to complete her treble.
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|12||Vivien Brandt (GK)||1||Rebecca Flaherty (GK)|
|2||Michaela Brandenburg||2||Courtney Whyte|
|3||Lisa Karl||3||Sarah Clelland|
|4||Georgie Rafferty (C)|
|9||Laura Widak||10||Alyshia Walker|
|10||Jasmin Sehan (C)|
|14||Leonie Stenzel||14||Hayley Sinclair|
|15||Ricarda Walkling||16||Erin Cuthbert|
|16||Michaela Specht||17||Chantelle Brown|
|1||Miriam Hanemann (GK)||12||Laura Hamilton (GK)|
|4||Jana Löber||5||Rachel McLauchlan|
|11||Burcu Özkanca||8||Chelsea Cornet|
|13||Isabella Hartig||13||Lia Tweedie|
|18||Samantha Dick||18||Carla Boyce|
|Anouschka Bernhard (GER)||Pauline Hamill (SCO)|
|Zuzana Štrpková (SVK)|
|Katalin Török (HUN), Ekaterina Marinova (BUL)|
|Vesna Budimir (CRO)|