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England edge Switzerland for Group 9 supremacy

England overcame Switzerland on matchday three to finish first in Group 9, their opponents joining them in the next round ahead of hosts Slovenia and Andorra.

Mason Bennett's goal ensured England finished first in Group 9
Mason Bennett's goal ensured England finished first in Group 9 ©Getty Images

England recovered from drawing their first game to finish first in UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying round Group 9 as a 1-0 win against Switzerland on the final day took them above their opponents, who had to settle for the runners-up berth.

Switzerland had held the whip hand heading into that matchday three fixture in Ptuj having won their first two fixtures, but they were unable to respond to Mason Bennett's 34th-minute goal. The Swiss had plenty of chances in the second period, but England held out to ensure both teams progressed.

Switzerland were quick to assume control of the section, brushing aside Andorra 4-0 with Shani Tarashaj scoring twice. The Grasshopper-Club forward added two more goals in the second round of matches as Gérard Castella's side overcame hosts Slovenia 3-1 to secure a top-two finish with a match to spare.

Slovenia had held England 1-1 in the first round of games – only Lewis Baker's equaliser five minutes from time denying them a victory – but Noel Blake's side bounced back with a 4-0 defeat of Andorra, Ben Pearson scoring twice in a result that left England in pole position to finish second at least. Instead, they would go one better.

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