Germany, Finland, France and Scotland were among the big winners on the first day of UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship elite round games.
Spain got the better of Group 1 hosts Portugal on the opening day, making their class tell after an even first half. It took until 20 minutes from time for them to take the lead their attacking endeavour had merited, Andrea Esteban converting from the spot after she had been fouled in the box, with Marta Turmo making the result certain four minutes from the end. Switzerland lead the section, though, with Julia Stierli on target twice in the first 13 minutes as her side romped to a 5-0 win against Belarus, though two of those goals were scored after Mariya Buyko had been sent off on the hour for a second bookable offence.
Russia had the bulk of the chances, but Croatia clung on for a point after a goalless draw in Lucko, with Scotland the main beneficiaries. Kevin Murphy's side took the lead through midfielder Lucy Graham's header after just 56 seconds, and she hit her side's from outside the box on 23 minutes en route to a 5-1 win, with captain Caroline Weir and forward Zoe Ness deserving the goals they scored.
Reigning champions France made a fine start against Romania, recording a 5-1 victory; Marianne Brun, Kadidiatou Diani and Ouleymata Sarr all scored by half-time, and captain Aissatou Tounkara missed a penalty. Sandie Toletti then scored two more after the break, with Iulia Obreja's late strike scant consolation for Mirel Albon's side. They will hope for better luck against Sweden on Monday, though their next opponents beat Poland 2-1 in their opening fixture. Filippa Curmark put Sweden ahead on four minutes after Poland failed to field Lotta Ökvist's long ball forward, and while Anna Zapała replied with a deflected shot (25), Lina Hurtig scoed the winner on 88 minutes as Sweden's pressing told.
Kateřina Svitková put the Czech Republic in front after four minutes against Germany, but Lara Junge swiftly equalised before a goalkeeping error changed the tone of the game. Sara Vršatová failed to catch Marie Becker's long ball and allowed Madeline Gier to steal in and score (32). Vršatová was immediately replaced by Barbara Votíková, but she swiftly conceded a Becker header from a corner (34), and substitute Louisa Lagaris made it 4-1 late on. Home side Belgium made amends after going a goal behind against Ukraine. Veronika Andrukhiv (38) finished from playmaker Tetyana Kozyrenko's incisive ball, but Valeriia Olkhovska directed Elke van Gorp's free-kick into her own net, and Belgium scored two more in the last ten minutes, a corner setting up Lola Wajnblum before Van Gorp's header made it 3-1.
The Netherlands stole a march on their guests in Group 5, Jill Roord scoring a goal in each half – the first of them a penalty – in a 2-0 victory against Turkey. Clare Shine scored the only goal in the other game as the Republic of Ireland got the better of Austria.
Finland made a very positive start as Group 6 hosts, a series of long passes proving to be the undoing of Serbia. The result was hard on Goran Sretenović's side who conceded a goal in each half from both Vera Saastamoinen and her strike partner Sanni Franssi. England also took three points after a close encounter with Denmark, Leah Willamson's effort from outside the box on 63 minutes proving to be the only goal of the game.
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