France look strong contenders for the inaugural title after an excellent performance to top first qualifying round Group 5 ahead of Denmark.
France look strong contenders to win the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship after an excellent performance to top first qualifying round Group 5 in F.Y.R. Macedonia.
Gérard Sergent's team showed their credentials on Matchday 1 with an 11-0 defeat of the hosts. Charlotte Poulain and Kenza Dali struck in the first 17 minutes, but it was only in the final 22 minutes that France really got going when substitute Solène Barbance claimed a hat-trick and fellow replacement Léa Rubio, Pauline Crammer and Marina Makanza all scored twice. However, that was eclipsed by Denmark's 24-0 win against Armenia, that nation's biggest victory in a competitive game at any level. Pernille Harder was the top scorer with seven, Katrine Veje managed five including a hat-trick in 15 minutes, Stina Mikkelsen got four, Tenna Bendtsen found the net three times, Nina Svenstrup claimed two and Britta Olsen, Sofie Junge Pedersen and substitute Linette Andreasen also registered.
Duo set up decider
Two days later, the expected France v Denmark final-day decider was set up. France beat Armenia 16-0, Barbance again getting a hat-trick which was emulated by Charlène Karsenti, Cindy Thomas, Rubio and Poulain struck twice and also on target were Kenza Dali, Andeline Rosseau, Amélie Barbetta and Marion Torrent. Denmark stayed top as they defeated F.Y.R. Macedonia 6-0; Mikkelsen scored on eight and 16 minutes, Bendtsen and Pedersen added further goals before the break and Veje and Amanda Marie Hohol extended the lead.
So France needed to win against Denmark to pip them to an automatic place in the second qualifying round, and first-half goals from Barbance, Makanza and Caroline La Villa set them on their way before Rubin clinched a 4-0 win. Denmark, though, are well-placed to be confirmed as one of the six runners-up from the ten groups with the best record against the teams finishing first and third. F.Y.R. Macedonia took that position as they recovered from conceding a Kristine Mangasaryan goal to beat Armenia 3-1 with Ina Miloseska, Bojana Stojanova and Martina Dimkoska on target.