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France joined England on four points at the top of UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship Group A thanks to a convincing 3-1 win against Denmark in Llanelli.
Gilles Eyquem's team made light of Nikoline Frandsen's early penalty at Stebonheath Park by scoring three times themselves inside the first 27 minutes, through Léa Declercq, Sandie Toletti and Claire Lavogez.
This all left defender Frandsen's eighth-minute spot kick, slotted just beyond goalkeeper Solène Durand's grasp, as a distant memory. Her conversion followed a foul by Griedge M'Bock Bathy on Anna Fisker, yet there would be no time for French regrets as Declercq annulled the advantage almost immediately. The No11, who suffered the disappointment of a saved penalty during Les Bleuettes' England stalemate on Monday, struck from close range after keeper Maria Christensen struggled to collect a high ball following a corner.
One player who had missed matchday one through suspension, attacking midfielder Claire Lavogez, held the key to France's second goal on 18 minutes. When Lavogez broke down the right and crossed dangerously, defender Stine Larsen could only get a touch on the ball, inviting Sandie Toletti to return it with lethal interest. Faustine Robert was centimetres away from making it three.
Not long afterwards, though, the impressive Lavogez did precisely that, driving home from the edge of the box after Robert's right-sided centre had – again – been only half-cleared. Søren Randa-Boldt's side, semi-finalists last year, were tumbling to just their second defeat in 16 games since September. Christensen prevented a more severe-looking scoreline with several stops from Lavogez – notably one to repel a point-blank header.
As the contest drifted towards its inevitable conclusion, Ida Karstoft blocked Declercq's goalbound effort and Christensen tipped over from Clarisse Le Bihan. Now Denmark, with a semi-final place at stake and only three points in their account, have work to do against England on Sunday.
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