Sweden and Belgium respectively ended the hopes of France and Germany, the most successful sides in UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship history, as the 2014 final tournament lineup was completed. England, Scotland, Spain and Netherlands will join them and hosts Norway in the draw in Oslo at 14.30CET on Tuesday 29 April, with the Republic of Ireland also through for the first time as best runners-up. The finals run from 15–27 July.
Spain clinched their return to the finals after missing last year's, but were made to work hard for progress by an impressive Switzerland team. Indeed, the Swiss rattled the woodwork moments before captain and central defender Marta Turmo scored the only goal right on half-time. It was backs to the walls in the second period but Spain held on. Eliminated Portugal bowed out on a high when Vanessa Malho hit four as Belarus, down to ten players after six minutes, suffered a second successive 10-0 loss.
Caroline Weir took her tally to nine goals in six qualifiers as Scotland, needing only a draw, booked a return to the finals in style following a three-season absence. The Arsenal LFC midfielder struck with a lovely free-kick on 35 minutes to double the lead after Russia's Anastasiya Berezina had put through her own net, and 2-0 it ended – completing the Scots' 100% record in qualifying. Iceland got off the mark with a 1-1 draw with hosts Croatia, who finished third, in the other game.
Stina Blackstenius' tenth goal of the campaign – a competition high – sealed France's fate as Sweden grabbed a late victory over the holders. Requiring a win to leapfrog their opponents at the summit, Gilles Eyquem's side – featuring many of the 2013 vintage – could not find a way through and two minutes from time Blackstenius resigned the coach to his first competitive loss since taking the reins in 2012. How France could have done with a moment of magic like the stunning solo effort produced by Magdalena Szaj for Poland, though it proved a consolation in a 3-1 reverse to Romania.
Belgium stunned Germany as Tinne Van Den Berg hit the four-time champions with a late sucker punch. Maren Meinert's team dominated in Brussels, having 24 shots on goal and striking the woodwork twice, yet Belgium were always a threat on the break and so it proved as Van Den Berg turned in Lucinda Michez's cross six minutes from time. For only the second time in the competition's history, Germany will not grace the finals. The Czech Republic beat Ukraine 4-1 to consign the opposition to bottom spot.
The Netherlands and Ireland knew they would be through to the finals with victory regardless of what the other side did. There was never really any doubt for the Dutch as Jeslynn Kuijpers and Jill Roord both netted twice in a 4-1 success over Austria that was enough for top spot. The evening was less comfortable for Ireland, though they resisted nerves and Turkey to hold onto the slender advantage Sarah Rowe's stunning long-range effort had given them on 36 minutes. With four points against the teams first and third in their pool, they are the best runners-up.
England made light work of nearest rivals Finland, Katie Zelem and Bethany Mead each scoring twice in a 5-0 triumph (capped by a third clean sheet) as Mo Marley's team ensured they will be in the finals for the seventh time in eight seasons. The result revived memories of last summer's semi for Finland, which England won 4-0, even if there was the minor consolation of finishing second in the group after Adrijana Delić earned Serbia a 1-0 victory over Denmark.
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