Portugal completed perhaps the shock of a second qualifying round high on upsets with a 3-1 victory over Norway that paved the way for their progress to a first ever major women's final tournament.
The win against the 2011 runners-up banished the disappointment of a 3-2 defeat by the Czech Republic but José Paisana's side were set to miss out on automatic qualification when, a minute from time, defender Vanessa Rodrigues headed in the winner against Belgium. Not bad for a side that needed goal difference to edge through the first stage after picking up a point from their first two qualifiers.
"These are historic times for Portuguese football – for the first time a women's team will be present in a major finals," said Fernando Gomes, president of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). "It is a source of enormous pride and happiness. I would like to thank the players and staff for their commitment and the passion with which they embraced this mission." It is not over yet.
Route to finals
First qualifying round: 0-1 Republic of Ireland, 3-3 Hungary, 1-0 Israel (Group 2 runners-up)
Second qualifying round: 2-3 Czech Republic, 3-1 Norway, 2-1 Belgium (Group 4 winners)
Top scorer: Vanessa Rodrigues (3)
Vanessa Rodrigues (defender, Fundação Dona Laura Santos de Moimenta da Serra), Diana Silva (midfielder, CA Ouriense), Rita Fontemanha (midfielder, Boavista FC), Vanessa Malho (forward, Vilaverdense FC)
Coach: José Paisana
Date of Birth: 15/01/1961
Playing career: None
Coaching career: SL Benfica (youth, B team), CF Estrela da Amadora (youth), CAC Pontinha (youth), Sporting Clube de Portugal (youth), Portugal women's U19
Paisana started out with Benfica's academy in 1989, remaining for 13 years and working with their B team before departing. He had spells elsewhere in the Lisbon region with the youth setups at Estrela and Pontinha before moving to Sporting in 2007 as technical coordinator of the club's schools project. He switched to the women's game as Portugal U19 coach in January 2012 – within four months he had steered the country to their first major finals in female competition.
UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship best
Group stage: 2012
Honours in other UEFA women's competitions
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.