Poland gave holders France a scare and prolific Spain and Germany showed no mercy as two of seven nations that sealed second wins on day two of the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship elite round.
Spain flexed their goalscoring muscles by powering ten without reply past Belarus, forward María Caldentey weighing in with four. Switzerland joined the group leaders on maximum points ahead of Thursday's decider, Cinzia Zehnder and Francesca Calo finding the net in a 2-1 victory over Portugal.
Captain Caroline Weir ran the show as Scotland beat Croatia 2-0 and consolidated their two-point lead at the head of the section. Margarita Chernomyrdina stole the limelight for second-placed Russia, hitting a stylish hat-trick in their 4-2 victory over Iceland. The top two lock horns on Thursday for a place in this summer's finals.
Sweden will go into the last day of qualifying as favourites to emerge from Group 3 after striding two points clear of France at the top. Lina Hurtig's 68th-minute effort ensured Calle Barrling's side beat Romania 1-0, while the holders dug deep to salvage a point against Poland. In a dramatic encounter Ouleymata Sarr and Kadidiatou Diani both struck in the remaining three minutes to wipe out Ewa Pajor's first-half double.
Pacesetters Germany produced another emphatic performance, cruising to a 7-0 success against Ukraine. Madeline Gier and Sonja Giraud both registered twice, Gier scoring the goal of the game on the half-hour by dribbling past three defenders and finishing with aplomb. Belgium also maintained their 100% start, coming from behind to defeat the Czech Republic 2-1 and set up a winner-takes-all showdown with Germany in three days.
Victory for the Netherlands or the Republic of Ireland would have taken either team through but a 0-0 draw – both sides rattling the crossbar – leaves them level on four points with one to play. The door therefore remains ajar for Austria and Turkey, who played out a 1-1 stalemate earlier in the day, Selin Sivrikaya cancelling out Nicole Billa's early opener.
England toiled in vain for long periods before Natasha Flint shattered Serbia's resistance on 67 minutes and Rosella Ayane added a second in added time. The result lifts Mo Marley's team into pole position, two points clear of Thursday's opponents Finland, who secured a 2-2 draw with Denmark courtesy of Vera Saastamoinen's 85th-minute leveller.
The final round of games takes place on Thursday. The six group winners and the runner-up with the best record against the sides first and third in their pool advance to the finals in Norway from 15–27 July.
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