Germany proved they will be the same force they are in this competition as at other levels as they stormed through the inaugural mini-tournament.
Germany proved they will be the same force they are in the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship as at senior and U19 level as they stormed through the inaugural first qualifying round mini-tournament in the new competition.
From the start in Levanger it was clear Germany and hosts Norway would dominate Group 9. Norway began with an 11-0 win against Bulgaria, Julie Skjeflo Adserø claiming the tournament's first goal and going on to register a second along with fellow double scorers Anne Vikre, Cecile Liane and Emile Andersen. Germany overcame Israel 8-0 with Alexandra Popp and Dzsenifer Marozsan both on target twice. It was a similar story two days later. Norway again got to double figures with a 10-0 defeat of Israel, Adserø claiming a hat-trick. Germany matched that scoreline against Bulgaria, Tabea Klemmer striking three times.
So it came down to a showdown between Norway and Germany, with the hosts only needing a draw to secure the one automatic place on offer in the second qualifying round. And Norway led on 12 minutes through Hanna Haanes, but Svenja Hidt swiftly equalised and she struck again to make it 3-1 at the break after Marozsan had put Germany ahead. In the second half Popp increased the German lead before Marzon finished off her hat-trick and Claudia Bujna clinched a 6-1 victory and first place. However, Norway are still in a good position to be one of the six runners-up from the ten groups to go through with the best record against the teams finishing first and third – which in this case was Israel, who defeated Bulgaria 1-0.
Victorious coach Ralf Peter said: "I am happy with everything. That was an outstanding performance by my team, it was as if we had scripted it. We were clearly superior from first start to finish." The next pool to begin is Group 3 involving Belgium, the Faroe Islands, Estonia and Finland on Tuesday, and the round runs until 10 November with the second qualifying stage in April and the four-team finals the following month.